Transect Blog

Unintentional Harm to Migratory Birds is Lawful under USFWS Proposed Rule

February 3, 2020
Osprey approaching nest with young hatchling/fledgling

The USFWS is proposing to adopt a regulation that will codify the 2017 Solicitor’s Opinion M-37050, which redefined what activities are illegal under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA). Specifically, the proposed rule will decriminalize accidental harm or death of migratory birds that may occur as a result of an otherwise lawful activity. Background on…

3 Surprising Truths about Environmental Permitting

1. Endangered and threatened plants aren’t protected on private lands. Even though plants are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act, there is no federal penalty for impacting plants on private lands as part of an otherwise lawful activity[1] (ESA Section 9(a)2). The reason for this dates back to old English common law where the…
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Red Cockaded Woodpecker

Proposed Changes to the Endangered Species Act

Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (the ESA or the Act) in 1973 to protect wildlife, plants, and habitat types at risk of becoming extinct. The Act has helped save hundreds of species, including iconic ones such as American alligators, humpback whales, North American brown bears, manatees and bald eagles. However, one of the mechanisms…
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