Biden administration takes action to restore migratory bird protection after court overturns Trump rule
As bird enthusiasts celebrated World Migratory Bird Day on May 8, new science had already determined that over the past half century, an estimated 3 billion birds in North America had been lost and that two-thirds of the continent’s feathered friends are now at risk due to climate change.
That’s why the Biden administration this month launched a new rule-making process to formally withdraw the Trump administration’s action that removed “bycatch” protections from the Treaty Act. migratory birds.
According to the Audubon Company, the Biden team in March rescinded the Trump administration’s “M-Opinion”, which was overturned by the Federal Court last August, a decision that unequivocally upheld the law. more effective on bird conservation.
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The Trump administration’s change to the century-old Migratory Birds Treaty (MBTA) act was intended to limit protection to only activities that willfully kill birds, but exempt all industrial risks from law enforcement. Any “accidental” death – no matter how inevitable, preventable, or devastating to birds – became immune from law enforcement.
Had this change been implemented in 2010, BP would not have suffered any consequences under the MBTA for the more than one million birds killed in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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“We hope to see the administration follow up quickly with further regulation to establish a reasonable licensing approach for bycatch,” said Sarah Greenberger, senior vice president of conservation policy, National Audubon Society. “A licensing program is a sensible approach to clarifying these long-standing protections and providing the certainty the industry wants.”
“We need a multi-pronged approach to ensure that the MBTA remains a solid foundation for the protection of birds in the future,” said Erik Schneider, policy analyst, National Audubon Society.
“In addition to the administration’s action, we hope to see the Migratory Birds Protection Act reintroduced and passed at this Congress. Together, these actions will strengthen the MBTA against future attacks and provide stability and certainty for birds and businesses. “
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A bill had been approved by a House committee in Congress during the last two years of Donald Trump’s presidency, which had a bipartisan group of more than 90 co-sponsors, who would ensure bird protection and lead the Fish and Wildlife Service to develop an Allow an “accidental take” process to encourage companies to implement best management practices and document compliance.
But this new Congress would have to start the process over and get a majority vote on the bill in both the House and the Senate if it is to make its own statement that, in the judge’s words, “kill a mockingbird … is a crime ”when you know you can avoid it.
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