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New administration hits the ground running

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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.

In addition to freezing implementation of the Trump administration’s Migratory Bird Treaty Act rule, the new Biden administration has been busy, issuing countless executive orders and filling key staff positions within the federal agencies. 

In an executive order issued on his first day in office, President Biden called on federal agencies to review actions and policies implemented by the former administration related to the environment and energy – including the MBTA rule and the reduction of Northern Spotted Owl habitat. That order also put in place a temporary moratorium on federal activities related to oil and gas development on the coastal plain of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

President Biden also issued an executive order addressing the climate crisis, which creates the White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy and a National Climate Task Force, temporarily freezes new drilling on public lands, call for establishment of a Civilian Climate Corps Initiative, and commits to conserving at least 30 percent of lands and oceans by 2030.

A seperate executive order formally reconstituted the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Biden also issued a “Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking” establishing a task force to review the effectiveness of scientific integrity policies issued since 2009 and calling on agencies to review their current and future needs for scientific advisory committees. 

Biden has also made steady progress filling appointed positions within the government. He has nominated Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) as Secretary of the Interior and Tom Vilsack as Secretary of Agriculture, as well as Michael Regan, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

The Ecological Society of America has a handy transition tracker that provides information about nominations, hearings, and confirmation for positions related to the environment. 

The Washington Post is also tracking nominations for all 1250 positions that require Senate confirmation.

About the Ornithological Council

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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