The Bald Eagle And Golden Eagle Electrocution Prevention In-lieu Fee Program (Eagle ILF Program) sells advance credits to users authorized by the USFWS to participate in the program. Authorized users of the Eagle ILF Program include entities that incidentally take eagles through otherwise lawful activities (i.e. energy generation and distribution facilities, mining operations, timber harvesting, etc.). The Eagle ILF Program offsets the incidental take by retrofitting high-risk power poles in the same eagle management unit as the permitted take.
The Eagle ILF Program pools mitigation funds to implement retrofitting projects with partnering electric utilities in areas with 1) concentrations of summering or wintering eagles and 2) poles with a configuration documented as high-risk of electrocuting eagles. Once an area is identified as high-risk for eagle electrocutions, the Eagle ILF Program works with the local electric utility to conduct a risk assessment and prescribe a retrofitting plan.
The USFWS resource equivalency analysis presumes that all power pole retrofits are carried out on “high-risk poles,” but does not provide a specific definition. The Eagle ILF Program defines high-risk poles using electrocution risk models developed with data from electric utilities and USFWS (Dwyer et al. 2014, Dwyer et al. 2016). The Eagle ILF Program will target retrofits for poles with a relative risk index of 0.40 as calculated by the Dwyer et al. (2014) statistical model of avian electrocution risk. The availability of take permits depends on compensatory mitigation’s demonstrated effectiveness. The Eagle ILF Program’s transparent, accountable, conservation-oriented approach gives USFWS and credit buyers confidence that the investment will save eagles.