Case Detail

In re: Restrictions on "Incidental Take" of Migratory Birds
(Regulatory Proceeding)
On July 27, 2015, WLF filed formal comments with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS), calling on it to cease its efforts to assert regulatory authority over activities that have, at most, an incidental effect on migratory birds. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), adopted in 1918, declares it unlawful to take actions designed to harm a migratory bird. WLF’s comments argued that the MBTA does not authorize federal restrictions on “incidental take”—FWS’s term for actions that, while not directed at migratory birds, may cause them incidental and indirect harm. FWS announced in May 2015 that it is considering adopting a new regulation requiring individuals to obtain an FWS permit before engaging in activity that, although not directed at migratory birds, is reasonably likely to result in harm to at least some birds. WLF urged FWS, if it believes that threats to migratory birds require a stronger government response, to bring its case to Congress and ask for new legislative authority.
Case Status:
Awaiting decision.
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