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FWS Delays Implementation of MBTA Rule and Requests Comments

The Fish and Wildlife Service has announced it will delay the effective date of its final rule defining the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as limited to actions directed at migratory birds, their nests, or their eggs to March 8, 2021. The agency is accepting comments to inform its review of this final rule and whether the further extension of the effective date is necessary until March 1, 2021.

FWS Proposes Revocation of Rule Defining Scope of MBTA to Exclude Incidental Killings

The Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to revoke its January 7 rule defining the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to exclude incidental killings. The agency is accepting comments on the proposal until June 7, 2021.

Federal Judge Vacates Weakened Migratory Bird Protections

A New York federal judge has ruled that the Department of the Interior’s 2017 opinion that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act does not allow for criminal prosecution of incidental killing of birds is contrary to law.

FWS Considers Migratory Bird Hunting Regulations

The Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to establish hunting regulations of migratory birds for the 2020-21 hunting season. The proposal includes a regulatory schedule, announces committee meetings, and describes regulatory alternatives for duck hunting. Comments are accepted until November 15.

FWS Finalizes Migratory Bird Treaty Act Rule

The Fish and Wildlife Service has issued a final rule defining the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act as limited to actions directed at migratory birds, their nests, or their eggs. The rule is effective February 8, 2021.

Bill Would Authorize Additional Duck Hunting

The Migratory Bird Framework and Hunting Opportunities for Veterans Act would set the standard closing date of duck hunting season at January 31 (as opposed to allowing the states to select the closing date) and would allow states to open 4 additional days of hunting season open to youths and veterans seeking to hunt ducks, mergansers, and coots.

Fish and Wildlife Service Proposes Changes to Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed several changes to a previously published proposed rule related to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The new changes involve removing the European Turtle-Dove from species that quality for protection under the MBTA, adding 10 additional species that qualify for protection, and revising a number of common and scientific names to conform to accepted use. The comment period is reopened until December 12, 2019.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Considering 2022-2023 Hunting Regulations for Migratory Game Birds

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) published notice of its intent to establish the 2022-2023 hunting regulations for certain migratory game birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. FWS is accepting comments on its proposed regulations through March 4, 2022.

Congress Considers Endangered Species Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act Revisions

H.R. 5550, the “Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act,” would relax certain provisions within the ESA and remove most Migratory Bird Treaty Act protections for black vultures and ravens. The bill proposes to remove listed species from the ESA every five years unless Congress approves recommendations for their continued listing from FWS and the governors of the states where critical habitats are located. The bill would make it easier for property owners and lessees to use critical habitat for commercial purposes and would transfer exclusive regulatory and oversight authority of “intrastate species” to the governors of respective states with protected species whose critical habitat is believed to be located in only one state. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry and has been referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Proposing Changes to Migratory Bird Treaty Act Regulations Pertaining to Subsistence Hunting

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is proposing changes to the migratory bird subsistence harvest regulations in Alaska, including regulatory changes relating to defined excluded areas. FWS is accepting public comments through April 13, 2022 in furtherance of its obligation to authorize subsistence hunting while protecting migratory birds and imperiled species.