Date: 7/18/20 10:30 am
From: Diana S <wildlifenorth100...>
Subject: Re: [NHBirds] Action Alert: Keep Migratory Bird Protection in Place
Done!

On Sat, Jul 18, 2020 at 1:16 PM birdrecords <birdrecords...>
wrote:

> Something all birders should be aware of. Your comments make a difference.
> Becky Suomala
>
>
>
> *From:* NH Audubon [mailto:<emedia...>]
> *Sent:* Saturday, July 18, 2020 11:14 AM
> *Subject:* Action Alert: Send your comments by Monday night!
>
>
>
>
> <https://nhaudubon.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8d194b2f091f5c9b268805c07&id=4e91fcb1de&e=3e3e7ae608>
>
>
>
> *Speak out NOW to keep migratory bird protections in place.*
>
>
>
> *Submit comments by Monday night.*
>
>
> You can make your voice heard in opposition to new rules governing
> enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The new rules eliminate
> “incidental take” (i.e., harming migratory birds accidentally) as a
> violation of the Act, and require that violations must be intentional to
> warrant prosecution. Since it is extremely difficult to prove intent in a
> court of law, the new rules would make the law virtually impossible to
> enforce.
>
> *At a small scale, this means that there would be no fine for running over
> a Common Nighthawk nest in a gravel pit or trampling a Piping Plover chick
> on a coastal beach unless it could be proved that it was done on purpose.
> At a larger scale, it means that there would be no fines under the Act for
> an oil spill that kills hundreds of shorebirds and waterbirds because there
> was no intent to harm birds.*
>
> Background:
>
> The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918 is the foundation of modern
> bird conservation and provides significant protections for native birds.
> For most of its history, the MBTA has generally been interpreted through a
> standard that makes any unauthorized taking of migratory birds an illegal
> action, regardless of intent. However, there have been inconsistencies in
> interpretation among different jurisdictions. In December 2017, the
> Principal Deputy Solicitor of the Department of the Interior issued a legal
> opinion (M-Opinion 37050) “The Migratory Bird Treaty Act Does Not Prohibit
> Incidental Take.” M-Opinion 37050 concluded that the MBTA’s prohibitions on
> pursuing, hunting, taking, capturing, killing, or attempting to do the
> same, apply only to actions intentionally or purposefully "taking”
> migratory birds, their nests or their eggs.
>
> *In February 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a proposed
> rule that created a formal regulation from this legal opinion. The proposed
> rule eliminated incidental take, requiring that pursuing, hunting, taking,
> capturing, or killing, migratory birds (or attempting to) must be
> deliberate in order to be a violation of the Act.*
>
> *NH Audubon joined with eight other independent Audubon societies in a
> letter opposing the proposed rule
> <https://nhaudubon.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8d194b2f091f5c9b268805c07&id=09058255d7&e=3e3e7ae608>.*
>
> The Options:
>
> The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now seeking comments on a draft
> Environmental Impact Statement
> <https://nhaudubon.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8d194b2f091f5c9b268805c07&id=d97ecb953f&e=3e3e7ae608>
> regarding the proposed rule, which presents three alternatives:
>
> - The No Action Alternative
> - Action Alternative A
> - Action Alternative B
>
> Under the No Action Alternative, the Fish and Wildlife Service would
> continue to enforce the Act according to the legal opinion, but there would
> be *no formal regulation*.
>
> Alternative A would codify the legal opinion in a regulation that *eliminates
> penalties* for incidental take.
>
> *NH Audubon will be submitting comments in support of Alternative B*,
> which would withdraw the legal opinion and issue regulations that *include
> *incidental take.
>
> *Action:*
>
> * We are providing all of this information to encourage you to make your
> voice heard during this opportunity for public comment. You can submit your
> own comments directly to the government’s portal
> <https://nhaudubon.us17.list-manage.com/track/click?u=8d194b2f091f5c9b268805c07&id=7b4870927f&e=3e3e7ae608>.
> Below is a bulleted list of points you might want to include. Comments are
> due before midnight on Monday, June 20, so don’t delay!*
>
>
>
> *Your comments do not need to be long and complicated. Here is a possible
> format:*
>
>
> I care about birds because...
>
> I strongly support Alternative B because this alternative [choose a few of
> the below]
>
> - Supports the intent and wording of the original Migratory Bird
> Treaty Act of 1918.
> - Narrows the Act’s prohibitions “by any means or in any manner” to
> only deliberate actions taken with the intent to harm migratory birds.
> - Upholds international treaty obligations the United States holds
> with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia.
> - Maintains a balance between economic goals and the conservation of
> bird populations.
> - Maintains critical incentives for industry to avoid or minimize bird
> mortality through the application of best management practices and simple,
> common sense precautions.
>
> Many of America’s bird populations are more threatened than ever. Please
> keep the Migratory Bird Treaty Act strong by implementing Alternative B.
>
> Thank you for this opportunity to provide comments.
>
>
>
> Photo: Piping Plover and chick by Debra Powers.
>
>
>
> [image: Facebook]
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> [image: Link]
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>
>
>
>
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