Congressmen Lowenthal Slams New Trump Administration Rule Threatening Millions Of Migratory Birds

June 5, 2020
Press Release

Congressmen Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today, issued the following statement regarding the release of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) that accompanies the draft rule reinterpreting the century-old law protecting migratory birds across North America. This radical change to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), when enforced, will remove the ability of the FWS to mitigate incidental bird deaths due to industrial or commercial activities.

“The Administration’s effort to rollback the MBTA is an afront to nearly a century of environmental protection by both Democrat and Republican administrations and risks reversing the significant progress the nation has made in recovering and maintaining bird populations. It will, without doubt, lead to the deaths of thousands and thousands of birds protected under the MBTA. The administration’s radical action needlessly ties the hands of the FWS, while at the same time undermining our international treaty obligations. This cynical rule is just another example of this administration’s willingness to sacrifice our wildlife and our environment on the altar of a pro-development agenda. Our government should be dedicated to the conservation and protection of our environment for future generations, not the short-term profits of industry polluters. This rule is an unsubtle and clear message to industry to ‘do what you will—the consequences be damned.’”

In a March 2020 letter, Congressman Lowenthal and 46 of his House colleagues urged DOI leadership to reverse the rule announced today.

In January 2020, Congressman Lowenthal introduced H.R.5552, the Migratory Bird Protection Act, which would codify important protections for migratory birds and formally reverse the DOI rule announced today.