IPAA Director of Government Relations Samantha McDonald issued the following statement regarding the Department of the Interior Solicitor’s Opinion on the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), an important step to clarify the intent of the law to its original purpose of protecting avian species:
“The Migratory Bird Treaty Act has been in the spotlight over recent years as the law’s language has been expanded beyond its original intent over disputes of incidental or intentional take of protected bird species. The MBTA is an important law to protect species we all care about. Unfortunately, recent legal interpretation of the Act has placed blame on lawful industries and activities. IPAA welcomes the new Solicitor’s Opinion to provide much-needed legal clarity on this 100-year-old statute.
“IPAA members take species conservation seriously, and work actively to protect the environment and habitats where they operate. Many independent companies have U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-approved Avian Protection Plans and have spent millions of dollars on the conservation of listed and candidate species. Many other industries, such as wind and electric transmission companies, share this commitment, but face legal ramifications due to expanded interpretation of the MBTA. Today’s action is an important step to clarify the legal role of the MBTA to support species protection, while limiting inappropriate legal impacts on otherwise lawful activities from an array of industries.”
Learn more about efforts to protect endangered species at ESAwatch.org