Legal battle to protect bald eagles near construction site in Broomfield

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BROOMFIELD, Colo. -- A legal battle is underway to protect bald eagles near a construction site in Broomfield.

Garrett Companies says their apartment complex is positioned more than the required 660 feet from an eagles nest in a protected area near Stearns Lake.

The non-profit group, Front Range Nesting Bald Eagle Studies, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service alleging the agency did not properly issue a permit to the construction company.

However, according to city documents, obtained by FOX31, Garrett Companies has obtained a voluntary "take permit," which shields them from liability should they inadvertently disturb the birds.

The company also built a hay wall to block noise, they require their employees to undergo eagle training and they've brought in a biologist.

Now a federal judge has ordered fish and wildlife to revise that permit.

"We deal with wildlife all over the country whether that be an endangered bat in Kentucky or endangered turtle in Florida. We're used to working in these situations," said Eric Garrett, the president of Garrett Companies. "I just hate the fact that this take permit that's been so successful is now being challenged."

FOX31 has reached out to the Front Range group and did not hear back and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service won't comment on pending litigation.

Meanwhile construction continues for the complex and they're confident the permit will be reinstated.

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