The State & Environmental Impact Center

Twelve AGs Filed Comments Urging Interior Department to Reverse Narrowing of Migratory Bird Treaty Act Protections

March 1, 2021
New York Attorney General Letitia James led a coalition of 12 attorneys general in submitting comments urging the Interior Department to restore long-standing protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) against the incidental take of protected birds. Reiterating concerns raised in previous comments and court filings, the attorneys general warned that the Trump administration's rollback “removes a critical incentive for industry to take reasonable measures to avoid killing birds in their daily operations” and “flouts the MBTA’s text, purpose, and history, and abandons the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s ... prior, longstanding interpretation” of the law. The attorneys general also noted that the rollback "conflicts with the findings of a majority of federal courts that have upheld MBTA prosecutions for incidental take."