Tacoma Public Utilities has pledged $2,500 to match a federal government reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who destroyed a bald eagle nest at Lake Mayfield.
Using a chain saw and wedges, someone toppled the cottonwood holding the nest Jan. 17. The tree was located in the utility’s 13,000-acre Cowlitz Wildlife Area.
Bald eagles are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and destroying an eagle nest is a federal crime.
The nest was one of only two bald eagle nests in the wildlife area, and the eagle pair that occupied it were among the most reliable producers of young eagles in southwest Washington.
In an effort to keep the eagles in the area, the utility and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service built a platform on a nearby Douglas fir tree last week.
“It’s too early to tell whether they are going to adopt it as a new nest site,” said Tacoma biologist Debbie Young. “It is early in the season and they still have time to re-establish a nest and breed successfully. They may not stay in the immediate area because of the disturbance factor.”
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