FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONTPELIER (October 9, 2020) – Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott signed H.683 relating to the protection of migratory birds yesterday, filling the gap for Vermont left by federal efforts to rollback bird protections in the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of our nation’s oldest wildlife laws. In response to this change in federal law, and in light of recent reports demonstrating that North American bird populations are facing significant declines and are also at risk from the impacts of the climate crisis, the Vermont General Assembly passed H.683 nearly unanimously. This legislation prohibits actions where the death or harm of birds is a “direct and foreseeable result” and where the action causes at least local population impacts.
“On behalf of the birds of Vermont, Audubon’s members, and bird-lovers everywhere, I want to thank Governor Scott and Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Porter for working with the General Assembly to pass this important law,” said David Mears, Audubon Vermont’s Executive Director. He continued, “In a state with an abundance and diversity of amazing birds, and with a record number of birdwatchers, this law reflects an important investment in a future in which our birds, and our communities, can thrive.”
The bill advanced in the House thanks to the leadership of the key co-sponsors, Representative Amy Sheldon, Chair of the House Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee and Representative Kari Dolan of Waitsfield. The bill received a critical boost from leadership in the Senate including Senator Chris Bray, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, and Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe. Most importantly, Audubon Vermont members across our Green Mountain state made their voices heard in support of the passage of this new law to ensure that Vermont will continue to provide critical protections to our migratory birds, regardless of what happens in Washington DC.
Contact: David Mears, Audubon Vermont, firstname.lastname@example.org, (802) 434-3006
About Audubon Vermont: Audubon Vermont is a state office of the National Audubon Society, an organization committed to protecting birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works across Vermont using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Our programs, members, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that informs, inspires, and unites diverse communities in conservation action. Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive.