Hycroft Mine

Hycroft Mine in Humboldt and Pershing Counties, Nevada.  Hycroft Resources and Development, Inc. submitted an application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for an eagle nest removal and an eagle take permit for the operation of Hycroft Mine.  Credit: Joe Barns/Nevada Department of Wildlife

Hycroft Mine in Humboldt and Pershing Counties, Nevada. Hycroft Resources and Development, Inc. submitted an application to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for an eagle nest removal and an eagle take permit for the operation of Hycroft Mine. Credit: Joe Barns/Nevada Department of Wildlife

Eagle Permit Issued to Hycroft Mine

In April 2020, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a 30-year eagle take permit, pursuant to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, to Hycroft Resources and Development, Incorporated’s (HRDI) mine (Hycroft Mine). The permit authorizes the removal of three golden eagles nests and for incidental take that would be caused by disturbance and result in the loss of one golden eagle breeding territory. The existing Hycroft Mine is located on public land administered by the BLM and private land controlled by HRDI located in Humboldt and Pershing counties, Nevada, approximately 55 miles west of Winnemucca, Nevada.

Under the permit, Hycroft Mine will offset impacts to golden eagle populations in two ways. They are providing compensatory mitigation in the form of retrofitting electric utility power poles within the eagle management unit. This will prevent eagles from being electrocuted when they perch on power poles. In addition, they are contributing to a study aimed at treating golden eagle nests that have parasites. Nest treatments allows eaglets living in infested nests to survive. If left untreated, the young eagles would certainly not live.

Each year, the mine will monitor nesting areas in proximity to their operations to identify any in use eagle’s nests. In this way, they are able to avoid disturbing other nesting eagles by providing protective no disturbance buffers around eagle nest sites.

Prior to our permit issuance, an EIS for the project was prepared jointly by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District as the lead agency, in cooperation with the Service. In late October 2019, both the BLM and the USFWS signed our respective Records of Decision (ROD) for the decisions under our authorities as analyzed in the EIS.

The EIS analyzed impacts associated with the proposed mine expansion of the precious metals operations at the existing Hycroft Mine, and their request for authorization to remove inactive (i.e., outside of the breeding season) golden eagle nests and for incidental take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

The purpose of our ROD was to document the USFWS’s decision in response to an application submitted by Hycroft Resources and Development, Incorporated under the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S. Code [U.S.C.] § 668) for a golden eagle incidental take permit and for golden eagle nest removals.

For more information, please contact:

Contact: Heather Beeler, USFWS Project Manager
Migratory Bird Program
California and Great Basin Region
Phone: (775) 861-6304
Email: fw8_eaglepermits@fws.gov
Mail: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird Program, Pacific Southwest Region
2800 Cottage Way, W-2605
Sacramento, CA 95825

FWS Mission

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit https://www.fws.gov/cno/.

Documents

ROD Hycroft Mine Golden Eagle Take Permit

The Draft and Final EIS, and additional information regarding this project is available online at: Hycroft Mine Expansion Phase II