Alaska’s capital city removed protections for eagle nests from its land use code.
Some Juneau officials said the protections became difficult to enforce because there are not enough federal biologists to plot the nest locations, KTOO-FM reported Tuesday.
The protections created a no-building buffer spanning from 50 to 350 feet from an eagle’s nest depending on the time of year and other factors.
Assemblyman Jesse Kiehl said he is concerned with the decision to lift protections because bald eagles often use the same nests their entire lives.
“We do have a healthy bald eagle population in the area,” Kiehl said. “The notion that removing their reproductive habitat more easily will not impact that ignores and gets wrong how reproductive habitat works.”
Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis, however, disagreed. He said tree work in recent years near the State Department of Transportation facility seemed to invite even more eagles to roost.
“I think if you want to look at eagles, they are still around and in fact, they are taking advantage of some of the activity that our community is engaged in,” Nankervis said.
The motion narrowly passed 5-4.
A similar effort to scrap the protections failed in 2012.