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Lawsuits challenge MBTA rule


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This news and analysis are provided by the Ornithological Council, a consortium supported by 10 ornithological societies. Join or renew your membership in your ornithological society if you value the services these societies provide to you, including OrnithologyExchange and the Ornithological Council.

Two lawsuits have been filed in federal court challenging the recently finalized rule limiting the scope of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. 

The National Audubon Society, American Bird Conservancy, Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, National Wildlife Federation, and Sierra Club joined together to file a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, asking the court to declare the final MBTA rule illegal and set it aside. 

The attorneys general of New York, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington also filed a package of five lawsuits in the same federal court this week, challenging several recent actions of the Trump administration, including the MBTA rule. 

In August, the Southern District of New York issued a ruling invalidating the internal Department of Interior memo on which the final MBTA rule is based. The lawsuit was the result of a consolidation of two lawsuits filed in 2018, one with NGO plaintiffs and one filed by states – both with many of the plaintiffs as this week’s lawsuits. 

The final rule is also slated to be reviewed by the new administration, as part of a wider review of all recent agency actions that it is conducting. 

Read more about the MBTA final rule here

American Bird Conservancy's press release.

National Audubon Society's press release.  

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The Ornithological Council is a consortium of 10 scientific societies of ornithologists; these societies span the Western Hemisphere and the research conducted by their members spans the globe. Their cumulative expertise comprises the knowledge that is fundamental and essential to science-based bird conservation and management. The Ornithological Council is financially supported by our 10 member societies and the individual ornithologists who value our work. If the OC’s resources are valuable to you, please consider joining one of our member societies or donating directly at Birdnet.org. Thank you for your support!

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