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Eight States Are Fighting Trump's Attempt to Declaw the Migratory Bird Treaty
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=34516"><span class="small">Darryl Fears, The Washington Post</span></a>   
Thursday, 06 September 2018 08:24

Fears writes: "Eight state attorneys general filed a legal challenge Wednesday to the Trump administration's bid to dramatically weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a century-old law established to protect birds."

Sandhill Cranes. (photo: Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism)
Sandhill Cranes. (photo: Kansas Wildlife, Parks & Tourism)


Eight States Are Fighting Trump's Attempt to Declaw the Migratory Bird Treaty

By Darryl Fears, The Washington Post

06 September 18


New York’s state attorney general called the action a ‘giveaway to special interests’

ight state attorneys general filed a legal challenge Wednesday to the Trump administration's bid to dramatically weaken the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a century-old law established to protect birds.

The lawsuit, led by New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood, and supported by Maryland, New Jersey, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, California and New Mexico, is an effort to stop the Interior Department from fully implementing a directive to its law enforcement division to forgive mass bird kills, even when the animals are threatened or endangered.

In accordance with a new interpretation of the act issued in April, the department informed its wildlife police that the slaughter "of birds resulting from an activity is not prohibited ... when the underlying purpose of that activity is not to take birds.” For example, the guidance said, a person who destroys a structure such as a barn knowing that it is full of baby owls in nests is not liable for killing them. “All that is relevant is that the landowner undertook an action that did not have the killing of barn owls as its purpose,” the opinion said.

An even broader interpretation by the administration held that the act would no longer apply even in a catastrophe such as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that injured and killed up to a million birds. Interior would pursue penalties under the Natural Resources Damage Assessment program that is not specific to birds and ignore penalties that could be levied under the act.

The department had pursued claims under the act in the past, the directive said, but "that avenue is no longer available.”

In a statement related to the lawsuit, filed in the Southern District Court of New York, Underwood called the administration reinterpretation “yet another giveaway to special interests at the expense of our states." Underwood said the Trump administration "gutted the Migratory Bird Treaty Act – eliminating longstanding prohibitions on injuring or killing over 300 species of migratory birds that provide critical ecological, scientific, and economic value to New York.”

New York’s more than 300 migratory bird species have ecological and economic value to the state, the statement said. Birdwatchers and other observers poured $4.2 billion to the state's economy in 2011.

The attorneys general hail from four states governed by Republicans and four by Democrats. Their lawsuit will be considered with another filed by the National Audubon Society in May.

Susan Greenberger, a senior vice president for conservation policy at Audubon, called the state challenge a "welcome wind beneath our wings in the fight to keep this vital bird protection law intact."


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-1 # Robbee 2018-09-06 11:29
Eight States Are Fighting Trump's Attempt to Declaw the Migratory Bird Treaty
Darryl Fears, The Washington Post
06 September 18

so much for holding dickhead's "feet to the fire"? as vowed here on rsn, in euphoria after election 2016?

"another one bites the dust!" - dickhead
 
 
0 # BetaTheta 2018-09-06 16:45
Migratory birds don't stay at Trump hotels, and probably defecate on his golf courses. Of course he has no use for them.