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Critics Blame Declining Bald Eagle Population in Big Bear Lake on Growing Tourism Industry

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A bald eagle and two recently hatched chicks are shown in a photo provided by the San Bernardino National Forest on March 10, 2018.

A bald eagle and two recently hatched chicks are shown in a photo provided by the San Bernardino National Forest on March 10, 2018.

Tourists driving bumper-to-bumper up the mountain for a weekend in the snow. Bald eagles perching in scraggly pines and swooping down to feed on fish.

Both are staples of Big Bear Lake — for now.

But as the tourist economy grows and development spreads in this San Bernardino Mountains town, bald eagles find themselves cornered in what remains of their historic lakefront foraging grounds.

The number of state-endangered bald eagles that migrate here each winter to roost and hunt has dropped at least 66% from an average of 25 three decades ago. Critics blame the decline on the increasing clatter of human activities at one of Southern California’s most heavily used lakes, which attracts about 7 million people who annually spend an estimated $350 million.

Read the full story on LATimes.com

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