On October 4, 2021, the Service published a final rule revoking the January 7, 2021, regulation that limited the scope of the MBTA. With this final and formal revocation of the January 7 rule, the Service returns to implementing the MBTA as prohibiting incidental take and applying enforcement discretion, consistent with judicial precedent and long-standing agency practice prior to 2017. This final rule goes into effect on December 3, 2021.
In addition, the Service published a Final Record of Decision in compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The Record of Decision now states that the Service will implement Alternative B, the Environmentally Preferred Alternative, revoking the January 7 regulation and beginning a new process to promulgate a regulation that defines the scope of the MBTA’s prohibitions to include actions that incidentally take migratory birds.
The Service also issued a Director’s Order to provide instruction to Service employees, including expectations for conducting Service activities and prioritizing our law enforcement activities. This Director’s Order goes into effect on December 3, 2021.
In addition, the Service simultaneously published an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) ;announcing the intent to solicit public comments and information as we consider developing proposed regulations to authorize the incidental take of migratory birds.
All other documents and announcements preceding this can be found on the Documents and Resources Page.