Congressman Lowenthal Praises Biden Administration Steps To Restore The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

September 29, 2021
Press Release

Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), today, applauded the Department of Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) announced issuance of a final and formal revocation of the Trump Administration's January 7, 2021, regulation that limited the scope of the century-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), one of our nation's foundational conservation laws. This new Biden Administration rule would reimplement a century-old bipartisan interpretation of the MBTA that allowed the FWS to mitigate incidental bird deaths due to industrial or commercial activities.

The Congressman also praised the Biden Administration's simultaneous public announcement of an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit public comments and information to help develop proposed regulations to authorize the incidental take of migratory birds.

“The Trump Administration’s rollback of the MBTA reversed nearly a century of environmental protection by both Democrat and Republican administrations and posed a serious risk of reversing the tremendous progress the nation had made in recovering and maintaining bird populations. I am thankful that President Biden and Interior Secretary Haaland have  reinstated the long-held protections for migratory birds in the MBTA  and set forth new rulemaking to provide greater protections. I have spent years as a champion of the MBTA and I applaud the Biden Administration for their strong leadership in ensuring that our government acts to conserve and protect our air, water, wildlife, and environment for future generations, not the short-term profits of industry polluters.”

Congressman Lowenthal has led efforts to overturn the Trump Administration’s radical reinterpretation of the MBTA, leading and co-leading several letters to then President Trump, as well as to previous DOI Secretaries Ryan Zinke and David Bernhardt.

In March 2021, Congressman Lowenthal joined with Congress Members Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Mike Thompson (CA-05) and 63 of their House colleagues in calling on the Biden Administration’s DOI to adopt specific recommendations to restore and strengthen MBTA protections stripped away by the Trump Administration.

in July 2021, Congressman Lowenthal joined with Representative Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) to reintroduce the bipartisan Migratory Bird Protection Act (MBPA). This legislation codifies incidental take protections, develops a permit program to minimize regulatory burdens while incentivizing commercial entities to implement best practices that protect birds. Further, the legislation creates a mitigation fee for impacts that cannot be avoided to help conserve impacted bird populations and their habitat.