Last year, a federal rule dramatically weakened the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the culmination of several years of unprecedented attacks on our nation's most important bird protection law. Under the weakened law, companies were no longer liable for preventable bird deaths from industrial hazards, giving them a free pass to kill birds. Thankfully, the Interior Department has reversed this devastating rollback of the MBTA.
Now, Congress should pass the Migratory Bird Protection Act to safeguard the MBTA for the future.
Please urge your U.S. Representative to strengthen protections for birds by supporting the Migratory Bird Protection Act.
Snowy Egret. Photo: Ed Mattis/Audubon Photography Awards
Dear Representative [Name will automatically be added]:
I strongly support HR 4833 to safeguard protections for birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) and direct the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop a permitting process for incidental take.
Birds are a fundamental part of our ecosystems and culture and provide significant value to my community, the nation, and the world. Yet our bird populations are facing serious threats that have led to a decline of 3 billion birds in North America since 1970, while two-thirds of our bird species are at risk from climate change.
We need to be doing far more to protect and conserve birds, but the weakening of the MBTA in recent years only put birds at greater risk. Now, it's time for Congress to reaffirm the MBTA's longstanding and bipartisan protections for birds from avoidable hazards to ensure it continues to reduce preventable bird deaths and help birds recover from events such as oil spills.
I urge Congress to protect and modernize the MBTA by supporting and cosponsoring HR 4833. Now is the time to act to save our nation's birds, and I stand in strong support of the MBTA to help give them a fighting chance.