U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today praised the announcement by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has officially delisted the bald eagle from the roll of threatened species protected under the Endangered Species Act.
“Today we celebrate the success story of our national symbol. The eagle’s delisting from the Endangered Species act is good news and is the result of hard work by citizens and conservationists - like those at the American Eagle Foundation in Pigeon Forge, TN - in keeping the eagle and its habitat safe,” said Alexander. “Today and everyday we should celebrate the American ideals the eagle stands for and the importance of keeping eagles safe for generations to come.”
The bald eagle was selected as America’s national symbol on June 20, 1782 during the Second Continental Congress. It has been protected under federal law since Congress passed the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act in 1940. Even after today’s announcement, the bald eagle will continue to be protected under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Alexander was the author of a Senate resolution (S. Res 146) that designated June 20, 2007 as American Eagle Day. In addition, the resolution encourages educational entities, businesses, conservation groups, government agencies and others to collaborate on information about bald eagles for use in schools. Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) was the lead Democratic cosponsor of the resolution that was approved by the Senate in April.
Alexander also authored the American Bald Eagle Recovery and National Emblem Commemorative Coin Act, which authorized the U.S. Mint to create a special commemorative coin that financially supports efforts to protect the American eagle. It was signed into law by President Bush in December 2004.