Industry Role Cited in Return of Bald Eagle
The nation’s home builders last week cited the return of the once-endangered bald eagle to American skies as an example of what can be accomplished through cooperation between members of the housing industry and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Federal officials on Feb. 13 proposed removing the bald eagle from protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). If the eagle is delisted from the ESA, it will remain protected by both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.
“The bald eagle is one of only a few clear success stories from the Endangered Species Act, but it’s a very important one,” said NAHB President David Pressly. “Through the years, our members have worked hand-in-hand with wildlife officials to protect this magnificent bird, our national symbol and also NAHB’s symbol for 60 years.”
While pesticide use, particularly DDT, was responsible for the bald eagle’s dwindling numbers, home builders have worked to help preserve the bird's habitat when designing communities.
NAHB looks forward to continuing to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as it seeks comments on the proposed delisting and voluntary management guidelines, Pressly indicated, so that landowners and others will know what they can do to help protect the bald eagle while continuing to keep housing affordable.
“With voluntary guidelines, home builders and landowners can continue their vital conservation efforts without the expensive and often protracted ESA permitting process that often adds months and thousands of dollars to the cost of housing,” Pressly said. The delisting and management guidelines must also come with sufficient certainty for landowners so they know how to meet all remaining federal requirements, he said.
“Throughout the years, our members have done an excellent job of providing homes to Americans while working within the ESA to protect our American symbol,” Pressly said.
For more information, e-mail Calli Schmidt at NAHB, or call her at 800-368-5242 x8132.