(Washington, D.C., September 4, 2018)—Today, in recognition of the centennial anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12) submitted into the Congressional Record, a statement commemorating the Act. The MBTA is one of the oldest conservation laws in the country, and is credited with saving millions, if not billions of birds, and numerous beloved species from extinction, such as the Snowy Egret, Wood Duck, Sandhill Crane, and Bald Eagle.
In her statement, Congresswoman Dingell highlighted the importance of birds, conservation, and the need to ensure that the MBTA remains intact. “We owe our children and our grandchildren the joy of experiencing the rich bird life in this great country,” reads the statement. “The Fish and Wildlife Service has long used reasonable discretion to apply the law to hazards including spills and oil waste pits, saving countless numbers of birds by incentivizing the adoption of simple practices that protect birds. We should build upon its success and find solutions that benefit birds and people.”
“We applaud Congresswoman Dingell for making this important statement in celebration and defense of the MBTA,” said Rebeccah Sanders, Vice President for the Great Lakes and Upper Mississippi Flyway at the National Audubon Society. “Congresswoman Dingell’s statement is a testament to her commitment to protecting the natural heritage of Michigan and the United States, which is a critical message considering the threats the Act currently faces. Today, the MBTA and the 100 years of conservation success that it has made possible, are under unprecedented attack. Audubon has been working with individuals, Audubon chapters, communities, and leaders to seek proclamations in support of the MBTA and we have seen that people care deeply about protecting birds and wildlife. Today’s statement is just one example of how our leaders can show support for this law and we hope others will do the same.”
The MBTA protects birds by making it unlawful to kill, hunt, sell, or possess most species of birds in the U.S., as well as their nests, eggs, and feathers, without a permit, and incentivizes sensible steps to ensure their protection. The National Audubon Society and chapters across the country were instrumental in passing the law, which helped save many species from extinction at a time when bird populations were plummeting. However, in its centennial anniversary, the most important bird conservation law we have is facing the most significant threat in the history of its existence. The Trump administration has issued a new interpretation of the law that does not hold industries accountable for bird deaths. Additionally, legislation under consideration in Congress would permanently change the law, which, similarly, would give industry a free pass to kill birds with impunity.
To learn more about the MBTA and our efforts to protect it, visit: https://www.audubon.org/news/migratory-bird-treaty-act
Read Congresswoman Dingell's MBTA statement here: https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2018/09/04/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/E1195-4