Bald Eagle No longer to be Extinct By Mitch E. Perry

02/13/06

Today the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they are re-opening the comment period on removing the Bald Eagle from the Endangered Species Act.

In a national teleconference held today, the director of the Fish & Wildlife Service, Dale Hall, said the bird, has made a remarkable comeback from where it was 4 decades ago (roll tape#1 o.q.�recovery goals nationwide�)

Director Hall said de-listing the Bald Eagle the Endangered Species Act isn’t as simple as other species. That’s because the Bald Eagle has its own law, created in 1940, as well as another law that protects the bird, the Migratory Birds Treaty Act.

David P. Smith is from the U.S. Interior Department. He says the Bald Eagle will continue to be protected because of the 2 existing laws (roll tape#2 o.q.�their nests or eggs�) Officials say that the 1972 ban on the pesticide DDT has been critical in its comeback, along with the protecting and management provided by the Endangered Species Act.

Dr. Doug Inkley is the senior Science Advisor at the National Wildlife Federation, an organization that, as he detailed, has worked extensively to save the Bald Eagle. (roll tape#3 o.q.�consuming led shot�)

And Inkley said the de-listing of the bird was possible because of what he called ‘cooperative conservation’from both state and federal officials, concerned citizens and both Democratic and Republican administrations.

But he said that to insure that the Bald Eagle is on the road back, Eagle populations must continuously be monitored, and their habitat must be safeguarded.

In 1999, President Clinton announced a proposal to de-list the Bald Eagle…But that plan ultimately went awry when the Federal Government until it can be resolved how to protect eagle habitat, which would no longer be under protection of the Endangered Species Act. When asked about that this time, Dale Hall from the Fish & Wildlife Department responded (roll tape#5 o.q.’to protect it�)

Late last year, the House of Representatives, led by California Republican Richard Pombo, approved a bill that would re-write the Endangered Species Act….The legislation would give landowners more say in what happens on their property when endangered species live there. But critics say the proposal would cripple efforts to save vanishing species. And Timothy Mell, senior ecologist with the group, Environmental Defense, said the de-listing of the Bald Eagle, , is indication of how relevant and important the law still is (roll tape#4 “ going strong until today�)

The public may comment on the proposed delisting until May 17, 2006. Comments on the proposed delisting may also be transmitted electronically to baldeagledelisting@fws.gov.

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