Digest of Federal Resource Laws of Interest to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Migratory Bird Conservation Act

The Migratory Bird Conservation Act (16 U.S.C. 715-715d, 715e, 715f-715r) of February 18, 1929, (45 Stat. 1222) established a Migratory Bird Conservation Commission to approve areas recommended by the Secretary of the Interior for acquisition with Migratory Bird Conservation Funds. The Commission consists of the Secretary of the Interior (as chairman), the Secretaries of Transportation and Agriculture, two members of the Senate and two of the House of Representatives, and an ex-officio member from each State in which acquisition is being considered.

The Commission, through its chairman, is directed to report by the first Monday in December of each year to Congress on its activities during the preceding fiscal year. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to cooperate with local authorities in wildlife conservation and to conduct investigations, to publish documents related to North American birds, and to maintain and develop refuges. The Act provides for cooperation with States in enforcement. It established procedures for acquisition by purchase, rental or gift of areas approved by the Commission for migratory birds.

Public Law 94-215, approved February 17, 1976, (90 Stat. 190) included in acquisition authority under the Act the purchase or rental of a partial interest in land or waters.

Public Law 95-552, approved October 30, 1978, (92 Stat. 2071) required that the Secretary of the Interior consult with the appropriate units of local government and with the Governor of the State concerned, or the appropriate State agency, before recommending an area for purchase or rental under the provisions of the Act. This provision was subsequently amended by P.L. 98-200, approved December 2, 1983 (97 Stat. 1378); P.L. 98-548, approved October 26, 1984 (98 Stat. 2774); and P.L. 99-645, approved November 10, 1986 (100 Stat. 3584) to require that either the Governor or the State agency approve each proposed acquisition.

Public Law 95-616, approved November 8, 1978, (92 Stat. 3110) authorized acquisition of areas for purposes other than inviolate sanctuary. Return to Resource Laws