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Senior Advisor

Endangered species not so endangered

If it envolves Almighty Big Government.



Avid New York City birdwatcher Lincoln Karim's experience was even worse. Karim knows the law: To touch a protected bird-- even a dead one-- you need a permit. But Karim found a dead red-tailed hawk in Central Park on a Sunday. He called animal control to pick up the carcass. When no one responded, he put the bird in a plastic bag, took it home and kept it in the refrigerator so it would not get eaten by predators.

"If I left it on that lawn, it was going to be picked up and taken up by a raccoon or a dog or something," he said.

Suspecting the bird had been poisoned, Karim turned it in Monday morning for an autopsy.

"When I handed it over, they arrested me," he said. "It's not nice getting handcuffed -- especially when you know deep inside you're not a criminal.”

Karim was charged with illegal possession of a raptor. Though his charges were eventually dismissed, marine biologist  Black wasn't so lucky. The U.S. Attorney's Office, on behalf of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, gave Black three years probation and fined her $12,000 for feeding a whale in Monterey Bay.

All three violated federal wildlife laws. Yet contrast their treatment to that of the wind industry.

Under a new Obama administration policy, wind farm operators are getting 30-year permits to kill protected species.

The new renewable energy policy gives wind farm operators 30-year permits - up from the current 5 years - to kill a specific number of protected species without threat of prosecution.

"What they are doing is ignoring the law," said Bob Johns of the American Bird Conservancy. "The oil and gas industry for example, they have to abide by these laws. They're not killing bald and golden eagles.  And if they are, they're going to be prosecuted for it."

The wind industry’s lethal impact on birds and bats is well documented. An estimated 1.4 million are killed each year by wind farms.