Posted: Monday, 03 September 2012 1:32PM
Bald Eagle Days
Stirred to action by controversy over local wind turbine projects, organizers have revived International Bald Eagle Days, which will be held in Rochester this fall after a 15-year hiatus.
The Post-Buelltin reports the event was created in 1967 by Terrence Ingram of the Eagle Nature Foundation in Illinois as a way to raise awareness of the nation's iconic symbol of freedom. The event been hosted throughout the country since then but was essentially mothballed in 1997 when bald eagles were deemed to be on the road to recovery. The bird was officially removed from the Endangered Species list in 2007.
However, Ingram and others claim that the booming wind energy industry has had the unintended consequence of destroying critical bald eagle habitat around the country while also endangering the birds themselves. Southeastern Minnesota figures prominently in this discussion.
Minnesota produces the fifth-most wind energy in the country, but it's also in the top three for nesting bald eagles in the lower 48 states.
While an agenda and speakers are still being finalized, state and federal agencies have been invited, along with representatives from the wind industry. Ingram says he'll also try to engage local students through essay and art contests, the best of which will be honored during a formal banquet on Oct. 27.