Migratory Bird Conservation Commission

106 FW 1
FWM Number
Originating Office
Division of Realty

1.1 Purpose. This chapter describes the operations of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission.

1.2 Authority. Section 2 of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act of 1929 (45 Stat. 1222), as amended (MBCA), and the North American Wetlands Conservation Act of 1989, (NAWCA), set out the establishment, organization and functions of the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission (Commission).

1.3 Commission Responsibilities.

A. As set out in the MBCA, the Commission is to consider and pass upon any area of land, water, or land and water, or interest therein that may be recommended by the Secretary for purchase, rental or disposal under the provisions of the Act, and to fix the price or prices at which such area may be purchased or rented. No purchase, rental, or disposal shall be made of any such area until such action has been duly approved by the Commission.

B. The NAWCA expanded the role of the Commission to include approving wetlands acquisition, restoration, and enhancement proposals recommended by the North American Wetlands Conservation Council (see 106 FW 2) in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

1.4 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Responsibilities.

A. Implement, on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior, the MBCA, as amended.

B. Assist the Commission with its duties under the Act by presenting technically sound materials prepared in a professional and consistent manner.

C. Procedures for the Service to carry out its responsibilities can be found in 341 FW 4 and Part 662.

1.5 Members of the Commission:

A. Permanent Members.

(1) The Secretary of the Interior, serves as Chairperson.

(2) The Secretary of Agriculture

(3) The Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

(4) Two Members of the Senate selected by the President of the Senate.

(5) Two Members of the House of Representatives selected by the Speaker of the House.

(6) Any Member of Congress who is a member of the Commission, if reelected to the succeeding Congress, may serve on the Commission notwithstanding the expiration of a Congress.

(7) Any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

B. Ex Officio Members.

(1) The ranking officer of the branch or department of a State to which is committed the administration of its game laws, or an authorized representative, shall be an ex officio member of the Commission for the purpose of considering and voting on all questions relating to the acquisition of the area(s) in their State. In a State having no such branch or department, the governor thereof, or the governor’s authorized representative, shall be an ex officio member of the Commission. A State ex officio member may vote by mail if the proposal is a reapproval of a price previously approved. Attendance is required if a vote is to be cast on all other matters.

(2) The Chairperson of the North American Wetlands Conservation Council and one other Council member selected by the Chairperson serve as ex-officio Commission members for North American Wetlands Conservation Act projects only. The ex officio members consider and vote upon wetlands conservation projects recommended by the Council.

C. Secretary to the Commission. By resolution on June 21, 1948, the Commission designated the Chief of the Division of Realty as Secretary to the Commission. The Chief's responsibilities include the maintenance of the records of the Commission and preparation of routine correspondence and such other matters as may be directed by the Commission.

1.6 Meetings.

A. The rules of procedure call for the Commission to meet on the second Tuesday of every other month. However, the Secretary to the Commission adjusts the schedule for the convenience of the members. Meetings are usually scheduled for 8:30 a.m. in the Secretary of the Interior's Conference Room, Number 5160, Main Interior Building.

B. The Commission transacts all business at formal meetings called by the Chairperson. At least five members (including the ex officio member) must be present for proposals relating to acquisition of areas within a particular State. Four regular Commission members shall constitute the quorum for action for proposals involving consideration of higher prices for lands previously approved by the Commission (ex-officio members may vote in absentia by letter), and for business not relating to acquisition of areas within a particular State. The meetings are executive sessions not open to the public.

1.7 Expenses. Section 18 of the MBCA provides that necessary expenses of the Commission and its members, not to exceed $7,500 annually, are paid out of the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund.

1.8 Report. Section 3 of the MBCA provides that the Commission, through its Chairperson, annually reports in detail to the Congress not later than the first Monday in December, on the operations of the Commission during the preceding fiscal year. The report contains all projects approved by the Commission, including wetlands conservation projects submitted under the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. (R106.1A)

Amended by Decision Memorandum, “Approval of Revisions to ~350 Directives to Remove Gender-Specific Pronouns,” 6/22/2022