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Law Environmental Law Caucus

Reshaping a Powerful Conservation Tool?


Podcasts from the conference are now

available here

Overview

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 implements a landmark treaty between the United States and Great Britain to protect birds migrating between the U.S. and Canada (the United States later entered into additional treaties to protect migratory birds, including agreements between the U.S. and Mexico in 1936, the U.S. and Japan in 1972, and the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in 1976). One of the oldest wildlife conservation statutes in the world, the MBTA now protects over 800 species of birds in the United States.

But threats to migratory birds today challenge the effectiveness of this venerable statute. Accelerating loss and degradation of habitat, collisions with human structures such as buildings, power lines and wind turbines, predation by cats, pesticide poisoning, and oil spills cause the deaths of hundreds of millions of birds each year. The time is right to re-examine whether, nearly a century after its enactment, the MBTA is up to the task of protecting birds against threats of the 21st century.

Join us as national and international experts from government, industry, and environmental organizations discuss the MBTA and explore how to make it more effective. The Friday and Saturday sessions will focus in on the MBTA, how it works, and how it might be improved.  Saturday will include an examination of bird conservation efforts by the United States’ treaty partners – Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, and Japan – as well  as a roundtable discussion by all participants toward shaping the future of the MBTA and migratory bird protection.

Conserving some of the United States’ most charismatic birds also presents tremendous challenges. The day before the MBTA conference officially begins, interested participants will have a rare opportunity to visit the Oregon’s zoo’s California condor captive rearing facility on Thursday morning (separate registration required; space limited). That afternoon, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s national California Condor Recovery Coordinator will discuss ongoing efforts to recover one of the world’s rarest birds, as well as the dangers condors still face due to toxic pollution in their environment. Additionally, a panel of experts on the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act will discuss emerging conservation issues facing eagles, including the explosion of wind energy facilities, as well as recent FWS initiatives to protect eagles while allowing development to proceed.

Although the conference will examine the structure and implementation of laws and policies protecting birds, the conference is appropriate for a general audience; all who are interested in birds and their conservation are invited to attend.

Please address any questions to Jenny Loda at jloda@lclark.edu.