The Trump administration’s recent policy reversal, to not prosecute wind-farm developers and other industry operations that kill birds accidentally reverses Obama-era policy for one of the most iconic conservation laws, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA).
The legal opinion, drafted by the Interior Department’s Principal Deputy Assistant Solicitor Daniel Jorjani, will reverse a policy issued by the Obama administration that found such incidental killings or harm were illegal under the (MBTA). The Trump policy is a boon to offshore drillers, wind companies, oil refiners and others who faced thousands of dollars of potential fines when birds were killed by their operations.
“While some feel the policy over-reached in the authority of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, however, this very policy provided the backbone to protect birds from the current threats presented by man,” said Brad Bumgardner, executive director for the Indiana Audubon. “This policy change puts millions of birds at stake, as industry has no incentive to mitigate or correct potentially dangerous situations for birds as they migrate thousands of miles each year in search of critical habitat to nest and raise their young.”
“Indiana Audubon will continue to defend the laws that provide crucial protection to the four hundred species of birds found in the state and more nationwide. We encourage bird enthusiasts to let their voices be heard to both local and state representatives.”
The MBTA was created by Congress in 1918 and celebrates its 100th anniversary next year. The law prohibits killing or harming America’s birds except under certain conditions, including managed hunting seasons for game species.
To learn more about the Indiana Audubon Society and to search for programs near you, visit them on the web at www.indianaaudubon.org.
Media contact: Brad Bumgardner, Executive Director. (219) 928-6905. [email protected]