As we start the New Year, we wanted to share Audubon’s plans for protecting birds and the places they need in 2018, the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA)—the bird protection law that was Audubon’s founding victory.
A top priority this year is to defend the MBTA from alarming attempts by Congress and the Administration to undermine the protections it provides. The most important step we can take right now to protect the MBTA is to ensure no bills weakening the act become law. We have assembled a coalition of groups to work with us and this week more than 500 organizations signed a letter to Congress opposing legislation. We will continue that push this year.
Like last year, we determined our priorities by identifying where we think Audubon’s voice, expertise, membership and chapter relationships can make the most difference for birds and the places they need today and tomorrow.
Alaska public lands and waters: Maintaining protections for important places—like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—from development, a battle Audubon has fought every time a threat to these iconic places arises.
Bedrock laws: Ensuring protections for birds and the places they need under bedrock laws like the 100-year old Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Endangered Species Act.
Sage-grouse conservation: Defending the historic Greater Sage-Grouse conservation agreements which protect 67 million acres of the iconic western landscape for 350 species of other birds and wildlife.
Conservation programs: Advocating for strong funding for local conservation efforts that benefit birds, in particular, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), the Delaware River Basin Initiative, Everglades Restoration, and our work in the Gulf of Mexico.
Climate solutions: Leading on climate solutions that protect birds and bird habitat at the federal, state, and local levels, and on the international front.
Coastal conservation: Engaging a diverse coalition for coastal conservation and natural infrastructure solutions like dunes and wetlands, as well as protecting the marine resources sea birds need to survive.
Western water: Continuing to work with local communities, industry, and even other national governments to protect this critical resource, from the Colorado River Basin to the Great Salt Lake, for the benefit of both people and birds.
Farm Bill: Maintaining strong funding for wildlife habitat conservation and making programs work better in the 2018 Farm Bill legislation
Because of Audubon’s brand as a bipartisan solutions-oriented organization we have had great opportunities to work with decision-makers in both political parties to advance these issues. Your voice helped ensure we had a seat at the table. But we need your voices—every one of our chapters and members—now more than ever if we are going to achieve our conservation goals. Over the course of this year, we will provide you with resources and opportunities to stand with us to accomplish these goals, and we look forward to working with you to make a difference for birds in the year ahead.