By Miriam Raftery
November 11, 2014 (Jacumba) – Consultants hired by renewable energy companies in recent years have consistently claimed that there are no golden eagles in the Jacumba-Boulevard Planning areas, where several major energy projects are proposed or planned.
But two separate residents of Jacumba now report seeing a pair of golden eagles in the past 10 days—including on documented with a photograph. The first sighting was over the town itself and the second was directly across from the Jacumba Solar project and a proposed power line tie-in to the ECO substation.
Golden eagles populations are threatened in the San Diego region, with only 46 pairs remaining in the county, according the Cleveland National Forest website which states that “eagles are very sensitive to disturbances by people.”Power lines can electrocute raptors and construction of any major project can be potentially disruptive.
The first sighting in Jacumba was made on October 30th by well-known birdwatcher Eric Kallen, who runs the website www.JacumbaBirding.com. He reported seeing a pair of golden eagles and provided a photograph of one.
The second sighting was reportedly made by a resident in the Grey mountain/Table Mountain area. “The resident, who prefers not to be generally known but is extremely reliable, says a Golden Eagle can be seen most days on the ridge-line above his property,” Howard Cook, chair of the Jacumba Sponsor Group, the town’s planning board, wrote in an e-mail notifying officials at state and federal wildlife agencies and to the county to be included in the record for the Jacumba Solar project proposal.