The US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell recently proposed strengthening the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (the MBTA). Possibly as a reaction to that proposal, the House of Representatives passed and sent to the Senate an appropriations bill, R2578, which we’ve been informed contains a very dangerous rider, Amendment 347. This Amendment would defund enforcement of the MBTA. This represents a frontal attack on the protection of birds. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act serves as powerful protection for birds. It is one of the oldest environmental laws in our country. Amendment 347 would bar the Department of Justice from enforcing the MBTA, essentially declaring that it’s open season on birds by entities such as large corporations--with no consequences for perpetrators. Any dilution of the Act when many bird species are already declining is totally unacceptable. Assuming you agree, please contact Senator Mark Kirk at (202) 224-2854 and Senator Dick Durbin at (202) 224-2152 as soon as possible and express your outrage. If you prefer (or in addition to phone calls) you can send a letter using The American Bird Conservancy’s form. Then tell every birder and every conservationist you know to do the same!
Your participation is vital to the protection of the future of migratory birds!
David Willard, President, Chicago Audubon Society