Alexander Welcomes Challenger the American Bald Eagle to Washington

“Today, the American Eagle Foundation is in town to celebrate the recovery and restoration of the bald eagle – a symbol of the spirit of freedom and sovereignty of the United States."

Posted on April 27, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today released the following statement after welcoming Challenger the American Bald Eagle to his Washington, D.C., office:

“Today, the American Eagle Foundation is in town to celebrate the recovery and restoration of the bald eagle – a symbol of the spirit of freedom and sovereignty of the United States. As a Tennessean, I am proud that the American Eagle Foundation of Pigeon Forge has played a leading role in preserving magnificent birds like Challenger.”

In 1963, the number of nesting pairs of bald eagles in the lower 48 states dropped to about 417. By 2007, that number had increased to approximately 10,000 nesting pairs, an increase of approximately 2,500 percent from 40 years ago. Because of this success, the U.S. Department of the Interior officially delisted the bald eagle from both the “endangered” and “threatened” species lists under the Endangered Species Act on June 28, 2007.  Today, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are approximately 72,000 Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states and 70,000 in Alaska.

Every year from 2010 to 2016, the U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution authored by Sen. Alexander (R-Tenn.) to designate June 20th as “American Eagle Day,” and encourage educational entities, businesses, conservation groups, government agencies and others to collaborate on information about bald eagles for use in schools. The measures also highlighted the U.S. Mint’s Bald Eagle Commemorative Coin Program, which raised approximately $7.8 million for the American Eagle Foundation, located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., to support efforts to protect the bald eagle.