July 13, 2009

Eagles electrocuted; power company pays big fine

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At least 232 golden eagles, 46 hawks, 59 owls and nearly 200 other birds have been electrocuted in Wyoming since January 2007, and a power company has agreed to pay $10.5 million in fines, restitution and equipment upgrade costs as a result, the Billings (Mont) Gazette reported over the weekend.

“For a number of years, PacifiCorp failed to take adequate steps to reduce golden eagle and other migratory bird mortalities across Wyoming,” said Kelly Rankin, U.S. Attorney for Wyoming. Rankin said the agreement, would help “dramatically reduce electrocution mortalities” at Rocky Mountain Power sites. Federal investigators said that since 1991, there have been more than 1,000 documented eagle electrocutions at sites operated by various companies across Wyoming, with more than 480 of those in the Bighorn Basin.

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