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Interior rescinds controversial MBTA memo

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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.

The Department of the Interior has revoked the internal memo (known as the M-Opinion) issued in 2017 first limiting enforcement of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to intentional killing or injuring of birds. The M-Opinion had already been invalidated by a federal court last year, in a lawsuit that the Biden administration recently decided to no longer pursue. 

The previous administration developed a regulatory proposal based on that opinion, implementation of which the Biden administration delayed until today, March 8. The new administration is also expected to release a new regulatory proposal in the coming days to revoke the previous administration's rule. More information about that proposal will be posted on OE once it is available. 

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