On Thursday, Feb. 8, a message was sent to Congress by 513 organizations from all 50 states, including the six Audubon chapters in Wyoming, urging defense of the 100-year-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act from an amendment introduced by Representative Liz Cheney to H.R. 4239. A subsequent opinion was issued by the Department of Interior that it will no longer enforce the MBTA in cases of incidental bird deaths. Theses actions would undermine the protection of over 1,000 species of birds and lead to the probable listing of many of them to endangered status.
Here in Wyoming we should be thankful that our oil and gas operators and wind energy developers have been good corporate citizens and abided by the intent of the MBTA. In those rare cases where a company has been found guilty of incidental killing of birds in uncovered oil waste pits or collision with wind turbines, they have paid their fines which federal judges have directed for protection of our state's wildlife.
It is an embarrassment that it is our own Representative who is the sponsor of a measure that would remove protection, that since 1918, has been so successful, even here at home.