Inside Bird Conservation – March 2017
Hundreds of Organizations Stand Together for Birds
Our nation’s environmental laws and regulations protecting wildlife and public lands face uncertain times. In response, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) has been organizing support for key bird conservation laws and programs with the Together for Birds Petition to Congress and the administration. Our thanks to the 424 bird-related businesses, birding clubs, and conservation groups who endorsed the petition. In addition, it has generated over 24,000 letters to members of Congress from individuals adding their endorsement.
“The American people love birds, and the administration and 115th Congress have an opportunity to make a real difference to reverse current population declines, restore habitats, and put in place smart policies to balance conservation with development on public lands,” said Steve Holmer, vice president of policy for American Bird Conservancy. An action alert about conservation funding and sage grouse conservation has generated another 4,000 letters, but we all need to get even more active. Please click here to take action for birds.
You can also call your Representative and Senators by dialing 202 224-3121. Ask the Capitol Switchboard operator to connect you with your Rep. or Senator, and leave a message asking them to support the Endangered Species Act, and to oppose funding cuts to bird conservation programs.
We have already seen how important public pressure can be. One bad bill that would have sold off 3.3 million of public lands has already been withdrawn by its sponsor Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) following multi-state public protests by hunting, fishing and other groups that utilize and benefit from public lands.
Major Budget Cuts Loom for EPA and Interior Departments
Initial budget plans of the Trump administration are calling for a 25 percent cut to the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget and a 10 percent cut to Interior Department program. If enacted, these cuts will have extraordinary and very negative impacts on birds, public lands, and state wildlife and clean water programs, and federal workers. Opposition in Congress is already mounting because of the extreme degree of these projected cuts. Make your voice heard. Please speak out against these cuts and in support of keeping a strong Environmental Protection Agency and bolstering effective wildlife conservation programs.
Legislation Would Undermine Sage Grouse Conservation
Two far-reaching and harmful bills, H.R. 527 and S. 273, have been introduced in the House and Senate that would radically upend progress made on Greater Sage-Grouse conservation. The essentially identical bills would halt federal conservation plans for the grouse, create 10-year exemptions from the Endangered Species Act, gut National Environmental Policy Act protection for projects on federal lands in sagebrush habitat, and potentially hand management control of up to 67 million acres of federal lands over to state governors. Please urge your Representative and Senators to oppose this bill. For more information about contacting your legislators, please see senate.gov and house.gov.
House Votes to Eviscerate Rule Giving the Public More Say on Public Land Use
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to block the BLM’s new land-use planning rule, known as Planning 2.0, and roll back the additional opportunities the rule affords the public to voice concerns about land management decisions on 245 million acres. The Senate may vote on a similar resolution next week (Via a Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership press release). Please urge your Senators to oppose this Congressional Review Act resolution.
Bird Conservation in Today’s Political Climate: How You Can Help
Bird conservation is under threat from policy and agency changes. Learn more and let your elected officials know that you stand up for birds. … Read more >>
Migratory Birds Are Worth Protecting: A Response to The Wall Street Journal
The benefits of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act far outweigh the costs, argue American Bird Conservancy and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.… Read more >>
Birds Need the EPA to Oversee Pesticides (and So Do We All)
Ready for a return to the Dirty Sixties? Some in Congress seem to be! The 1960s was the decade of the Vietnam War, civil rights protests, and humankind’s first steps on the moon. But it was also a decade of pollution. Among other environmental woes, DDT—the first modern synthetic pesticide—had created a… Read more >>
Lawsuit to Protect Piping Plovers at Jones Beach Will Proceed
(Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 2017) A federal judge has ruled that American Bird Conservancy (ABC) may proceed with its lawsuit against the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (Parks Office) over feral cat colonies at Jones Beach, N.Y. In a ruling issued earlier … Read More>>
Invasive Ants in Hawai’i: Small Species, Big Problems
Yellow crazy ants and other invasive ants threaten seabirds throughout Hawai’i. Recent successes from the USFWS Crazy Ant Strike Team offer some hope.… Read more >>
CONSERVATION UPDATES & RESOURCES
Report Details Bird Mortality at Twin Cities’ Stadium
A new report released this week by the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis details the bird mortality occurring as U.S. Bank Stadium during the 2016 fall migration and offers recommendations for action. (ViaBirding Wire)
Bird Conservation at DC Environmental Film Festival
Three short films featuring ABC will screen at the DC Environmental Film Festival on Saturday, March 18th at 11:00 am at the Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center (10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel, MD 20708). This event is free and open to the public. Please share with your networks; we’d appreciate it. Mapping Migration, A Seabird’s Journey, and Surviving the Wild: Cats & Birdshighlight awesome conservation work by Jeff, Hannah, Grant, and many of our wonderful partners. Hats off to Aditi Desai for steering these films to completion.
Job Posting: Assistant Director, Migratory Birds and Habitats
American Bird Conservancy is looking for a highly motivated individual who is able to work effectively to assist with the development and management of migratory bird conservation projects and initiatives in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Connecting People to Their Public Lands Report
The Connecting People to their Public Lands report details how millions of visitors enjoyed activities, tours, exhibits, and interpretive programs on BLM-managed lands in 2016. State updates focus on how BLM helps people play, learn, work, and serve on the public lands. Partners help the BLM reach nearly 5 million Americans, volunteers contributed more than 1 million hours or service, and more than 6,000 young people participated in work and training opportunities provided by the BLM. (BLM website)