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Action Alerts

ACTION ALERT: Strengthen our most important bird law

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service announced it is not only reinstating bird protections under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) but is also considering strengthening the rules going forward.

A new permitting program would expand common-sense and inexpensive practices – such as covering oil pits or marking power lines to avoid collisions – saving millions of birds from preventable harm.

Please consider sending a public comment to support strengthening protections for birds under the MBTA. The deadline to comment is Friday, December 3rd.

If you use the Audubon portal below, your comments will be submitted through regulations.gov, where it will become part of the public record:

https://act.audubon.org/a/mbta-comment-period?ms=share.

You may submit comments directly through www.regulations.gov. However, using the Audubon portal, you will find prepared comments, that you may submit as is, or amend as you deem appropriate.

Conservation Policy Committee, November 12, 2021.

 

UPDATED ACTION ALERT….Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act!

ACTION ALERT NOVEMBER 7, 2021

“A bill to amend the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration Act to make supplemental funds available for management of fish and wildlife species of greatest conservation need as determined by State fish and wildlife agencies, and for other purposes” has been introduced in both the U. S. House of Representatives (HR – 2773) and the U. S. Senate (S.2372). The bill is known by its short title “Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2021.” The Senate version currently has 32 co-sponsors (16 Republicans, 15 Democrats and 1 Independent), while the House version currently has 132 co-sponsors (101 Democrats and 31 Republicans). Co-sponsor lists are current as of 6 November.

The Act would provide 1.3 billion dollars annually to state fish and wildlife agencies and an additional 97.5 million dollars annually to Indian Tribal fish and wildlife agencies. Under the Act, The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will receive substantial funding.

Representatives Charles Fleischmann (R-TN 3), Jim Cooper (D-TN-5), David Kustoff (R-TN 8) and Steve Cohen (D-TN-9) are co-sponsors.  If not already a co-sponsor, please consider contacting your representative and urge him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor. Representatives Fleischmann, Cooper, Kustoff and Cohen deserve our thanks.

Senator Bill Hagerty has signed on as a co-sponsor. He deserves our thanks. Please consider contacting our other Senator, Marsha Blackburn, and urge her to sign on as a co-sponsor.

www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/2773.

www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/2372.

 

Conservation Policy Committee – October 11, 2021

Laura Cook, Ashley Heeney, Dev Joslin (special advisor), Dick Preston (co-chair), Cyndi Routledge and Melinda Welton (co-chair).

Comments by President Michael Collins regarding the Draft Air Tour Managment Plan for Great Smoky Mountains Park

On behalf of the Tennessee Ornithological Society (TOS) I am submitting the following comments on the Draft Air Tour Management Plan (ATMP) for Great Smoky Mountains National Park. TOS is the leading voice supporting the hobby of birdwatching, conducting bird research, and advocating for the protection of birds and their habitats.

We find that there is insufficient data to evaluate several aspects of the ATMP including the allowable number of air tour flights. The current number of flights authorized in the draft ATMP is 1,942 annually. This number is derived from the “temporary” Interim Operating Authority and is somehow based on the fact there was an average of 946 flights conducted annually, from 2017 – 2019. There is no further explanation. Hence, we are unable to evaluate whether 1,942 flights per year is acceptable or unacceptable, as it relates to affects on the soundscape.

However, we do support the other restrictions in the draft ATMP and would like to see them added to the temporary IOA while awaiting implementation of an ATMP.

It is our opinion that without more data or alternatives to choose from we cannot support the Draft Air Tour Management Plan for the Great Smoky National Park as written.

Details: www.parkplanning.nps.gov/greatsmokymountainsatmp

Michael Collins

President

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At-Large Membership

At-large members may use the online form or mail a check to:

Pam Lasley, TOS Treasurer
5886 Willshire Dr
Nashville, TN 37215

Please include name, address, phone, e-mail with payment.

Join TOS at Large Membership

The American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is an excellent source of information about things members can do to help birds.  ABC builds on sound science, and works in partnership to achieve conservation results for birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.

Members can go here for information on:

  • Threats. For instance, window collisions, feral cats, pesticides, wind turbines
  • Habitat protection, be they wetlands, forests, grasslands, or coastal
  • Endangered and threatened species
  • Living a “bird-friendly” life
  • Unifying conservation and bird-watching groups through the Bird Conservation Alliance