Feds Probe Death Of Golden Eagles

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LOS ANGELES, Aug. 3 (UPI) — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said federal authorities are investigating the deaths of at least six golden eagles at a California wind project.

The facility under scrutiny was identified as the Pine Tree Wind Project in the Tehachapi Mountains operated by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.

Wildlife spokeswoman Lois Grunwald declined further comment on what she described as “an ongoing law enforcement investigation regarding Pine Tree.”

To date federal wildlife authorities have not prosecuted a wind-energy company in connection with the death of birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, the Times said.

Shawn Smallwood, an expert on raptor ecology, predicted the investigation would “ruffle wind industry feathers across the country.”

“Wind farms have been killing birds for decades and law enforcement has done nothing about it,” Smallwood said.

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