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Nearly 1,900 eagles were counted in Sunday’s 10th annual Brackendale Eagle Count, the second straight year numbers have declined from the record 3,766 counted in 1994. Thor Froslev, organizer of the Brackendale Eagle Count, told BCTV the decline could be attributed to the inadequate treatment of Whistler’s sewage discharge, which eventually ends up in the Squamish River. Froslev suggested Whistler’s sewage treatment plant could handle only 32,000 people and there were more than 60,000 in Whistler over the holidays. That prompted a response from Whistler Mayor Ted Nebbeling, who said Whistler’s population during the holidays, including locals, was 35,000. "It is unfortunate that once again the representatives of the Brackendale Eagle Society are pointing at Whistler for the shortfall in eagles coming to the Squamish area," Nebbeling said in a press release. "However, it should be noted that since the society has been actively soliciting people to come and watch the eagles in their winter habitat, we believe as a parallel consequence of that amount of people entering these habitats, the number of eagles has dwindled."

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