The recovery of the bald eagle is one of the most important wildlife conservation success stories of the United States. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s goal is to ensure that regulations for eagle permitsare consistent with the goal of maintaining stable or increasing breeding populations for both bald eagles and golden eagles.

The Service and the regulated community share an interest in introducing more efficiency and effectiveness into the eagle incidental take permitting process, facilitating and improving compliance, and increasing the conservation benefit for eagles.

The Service has revised the regulations for the issuance of permits for eagle incidental take and eagle nest take under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act. The revised regulations include a new system of general permits in addition to the specific-permit situations the Service has authorized in the past. These general permits are designed for situations with low risks to eagles and are an alternative approach to authorize certain wind-energy generation projects, power-line infrastructure, activities that may disturb breeding bald eagles, and bald eagle nest take. The Service will continue to review specific permits for situations that have high or uncertain risks to eagles, thus meeting the preservation standard for eagles. 

The Service published the final regulations and environmental assessment in the Federal Register on February 12, 2024.