Action Alert: Protect America’s Most Important Bird Law

Good News: The Biden Administration has delayed implementation of a Trump Administration Rule that would have gutted America’s most important bird protection law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). We need your voice now to tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to permanently eliminate the Trump Administration Rule and restore protections for more than 1,000 species of wild birds.

Red-tailed Hawk flying against a blue sky with foilage in the background
Red-tailed Hawk, photo by Ray Walton

For the past four years, the Trump Administration worked hand-in-hand with industrial interests to remove incidental take provisions in the MBTA that allowed the government to prosecute companies when their actions kill birds. It is this provision that has allowed the USFWS to force utilities to retrofit power lines to prevent the electrocution of birds of prey, to address toxic chemicals that poison birds, and to go after oil companies for oil spills that kill wild birds. Under Trump’s new rule, these companies could kill wild birds with indifference and impunity. Decades of effort to reduce industrial threats to birds would be reversed and emerging threats would not be addressed. 

It is great that the new administration has delayed implementation of this new rule but it now needs to permanently eliminate it.

Peregrine Falcon , photo by Tara Lemezis

Take Action

Please write the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by 8 PM on March 1 at:   

Submit Comments


Talking Points:

  • Tell the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that you appreciate the decision to delay implementation of the Trump Administration’s Rule to eliminate incidental take provisions from the MBTA and that this Rule must be permanently removed. 
  • The incidental take provisions of the MBTA are essential to protecting native wild birds in the United States and the government must retain the ability to hold industries accountable when their actions kill wild native birds.
  • The Trump Administration’s rule was based on a Trump Solicitor’s opinion that the Federal Court of New York determined was illegal and directly violated the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 
  • Allowing the Trump Rule to stand would be devastating to wild birds—it would reverse a century of effort to reduce industrial impacts on wild birds and allow industries to kill birds with indifference and impunity. 
  • The Trump Rule was opposed by more than 23 states, 30 tribal governments, our treaty partner Canada, more than 500 organizations, and by more than 250,000 people who submitted comments. More than 99% of public comments submitted on the Trump rule were in opposition.
  • Our wild birds are under tremendous pressure. A recent paper published in Science revealed that North American Bird Populations have declined by nearly 3 billion birds since 1970. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service must strengthen protections for wild birds. The Trump Rule takes us exactly the wrong direction and must be permanently eliminated.