Use this page to comply with the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Bald & Golden Eagles

The Eagle Act makes it illegal to take (kill, wound, pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, capture, trap, collect, molest or disturb) bald or golden eagles. Disturb is defined in the Eagle Act as "to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that caused, or is likely to cause, based on the best scientific information available,

  • Injury to an eagle.
  • A decrease in its productivity, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding or sheltering behavior.
  • Nest abandonment, by substantially interfering with normal breeding, feeding or sheltering behavior."

If your project can't comply with the Eagle Act (for example, your project won't be able to meet the distance or timing restrictions to comply with the management guidelines), you may need a permit. Contact the Fish & Wildlife Program Manager if you think you need a permit.

In general, routine activities such as maintenance of existing facilities would not need to be permitted unless the activity resulted in a significantly different use intensity and would increase the likelihood eagles will be disturbed.

Migratory birds

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) protects all migratory avian species with the exception of European starlings, non-native pigeons, Eurasian collared dove and house sparrows. Under this law, it is illegal to "pursue, hunt, take, capture (or) kill" migratory birds. The USFWS implements and enforces the MBTA. Similarly, Washington State has a law that makes it illegal to take protected birds.

Biologists, contact the Fish & Wildlife Program Manager if your project is located on a bridge or other structure or if there is a known raptor nest in the area.

Slow down on ice and snow.

It's easier to skid or lose control traveling at higher speeds. Give yourself more time to stop.

Carry chains, practice installing them.

Winter conditions could mean chains are required on your route. Practice putting them on your vehicle ahead of time.

Pack your winter car kit.

Carry extra supplies like warm clothing, ice scraper and brush, jumper cables and other emergency items.