Category Archives: Conservation

HR 5552: Migratory Bird Protection Act of 2020

If enacted, this bill would prohibit the incidental taking (e.g., capturing or killing) of migratory birds by commercial activities unless the activity is authorized under a permit or is identified as posing de minimis risk to migratory birds.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the term “take” means “to pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect, or attempt to pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture or collect,” with “incidental” take referring to an unintentional taking.

The bill directs USFWS to regulate such incidental taking, including by (1) issuing general permits for certain industries, (2) creating a mitigation fee for any incidental taking of migratory birds, and (3) identifying categories of de minimis risk activities that are exempt from liability for the taking of migratory birds.

In addition, the USFWS would be required to establish and maintain a research program: (1) to evaluate the impacts of commercial activities on birds, (2) to evaluate the effectiveness of best management practices and technologies to avoid or minimize such impacts, and (3) to develop new or improved best management practices and technologies.

HR 3742: Recovering America’s Wildlife Act of 2019

This bill would provide funding for (1) the conservation or restoration of wildlife and plant species of greatest conservation need; (2) the wildlife conservation strategies of states, Indian tribes, or territories; or (3) wildlife conservation education and recreation projects.

The legislation also states that the Department of the Interior must use a portion of the funding for a grant program. The grants must be used for innovative recovery efforts for species of greatest conservation need, species listed as endangered or threatened species, or the habitats of such species.

HR 3115: Living Shorelines Act of 2019

The bill would direct the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to make grants to State and local governments and nongovernmental organizations for purposes of carrying out climate-resilient living shoreline projects that protect coastal communities by supporting ecosystem functions and habitats with the use of natural materials and systems. The legislation has been approved by the House Natural Resources Committee.