Bald Eagle Management Plan
WRPCO includes bald eagle management areas into the
land management plan on WRPCO–owned land within the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission (FERC) project boundary. Vegetation and wildlife management practices in these
areas are conducted to protect and enhance the bald eagle and/or its habitat.
The bald eagle management areas are designated into three zones, which include; nesting
areas, feeding areas and roosting areas. Human activity restrictions are most strictly
regulated in the nesting areas as follows:
- Nesting areas include the primary nesting area include a buffer not less than 330 feet
from the nest. In this primary nesting areas, certain activities can not occur, which
include major land uses, as a logging, building of roads, creation of recreational
facilities or the use of chemical toxic to eagles. Major land use as described above may
only be conducted under the unusual circumstances where the eagles are known to be tolerant
to close human activity.
- Also in the primary nesting areas, other activities can not be conducted during critical
nesting periods (February 1 through July 31) of any given year. These activities include;
human entry into primary areas, company low-level aircraft operation and major construction
- Secondary nesting includes a buffer of a minimum of 660 feet from the nest. Certain human
activities of a permanent nature that are likely to disturb eagles do not occur within this
buffer. The activities include; building of new roads and trails facilitating access to the
nest and the use of chemicals toxic to eagles. Also logging, mining, camping and other human
activities with time-limited effects are avoided when possible during the critical period.
- Potential nesting areas, areas where no bald eagles are nesting but the habitat has a
high potential for bald eagle nesting, i.e. super canopy trees also have restrictions. If
logging activities occur in these areas a minimum of four to six super canopy trees will
be maintained for potential nesting use in WRPCO-owned land within the FERC project
WRPCO does not remove old standing nest trees, regardless if the eagles have abandon the
nest tree for several years. The tree may only be removed if it is danger tree that is a
public or human safety concern.
An annual survey for bald eagles is conducted for the Petenwell and Castle Rock Flowages
to ensure that new nest sites are identified.
As a side benefit to the bald eagle surveys, osprey nest locations (A state threatened
species that feeds only on fish species) are also recorded. WRPCO incorporates many of the
same restrictions for osprey as provided for bald eagles.
WRPCO has constructed or has helped to construct several Osprey nesting platforms in and
around the Petenwell and Castle Rock Hydroelectric Projects.