What happened: The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) issued a rule that rolled back the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The agency’s rule stated that it will not penalize or prosecute companies when their actions cause the inadvertent death of birds. This action ignored an environmental impact statement issued in late November 2020 by FWS which showed that without the inducement of law, industry could be expected to scale back on voluntary bird protections.
Why it matters: FWS issued a rule that sidelined its own scientific analysis and could have major detrimental impacts on many bird species. According to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the US government has a duty to protect migratory bird species from death and other forms of harm. But the agency showed that it was willing to go against the science and take action that would inadvertently kill or harm hundreds of thousands of birds.
Learn more about how the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued a rule that could result in a large number of migratory bird deaths and other harms.