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E-M:/ RE: / Clean Waters - wetlands - migratory birds



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <anne.woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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Paul:

You raise an interesting point.

The US is a party to the Migratory Bird Treaty with Canada and Mexico, which
in fact does address the concerns about the loss of habitat for migratory
birds.  There is in fact a US law, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act that was
enacted to implement the treaty in this country, and there have been court
cases (generally relating to public lands) in which the MBTA was used to
shut down timber management that destroyed migratory bird habitat.  However,
the Interior Dept somehow (I don't remember the details) trumped the court
decisions, and the success of the litigation was short lived at best.

In Canada, environmental groups have submitted successful petitions to the
body that oversees NAFTA claiming that the devastating logging of Ontario's
crown lands was destroying the habitat for the migratory birds covered by
treaties with the US.  The granting of the petition has led to further
inquiries, although I don't know the status at this point.

Perhaps others here will have some thoughts or knowledge on this as well.

Anne Woiwode
Sierra Club

>From Paul Hanly:
Read the article on the Supreme Court interpretation on the act,
particularly the bit about:
"the Supreme Court ruled that the law could not be applied to certain
"isolated" wetlands if the only reason for doing so was their use by
migratory birds. "

It made me think about the international treaties for the protection of
migratory birds and their habitat. The main treaty about which I know is
RAMSAR

http://www.ramsar.org/
The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an
intergovernmental treaty which provides the framework for national action
and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands
and their resources. There are presently 136 Contracting Parties to the
Convention, with 1252 wetland sites, totalling 107.5 million hectares,
designated for inclusion in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International
Importance.

Australia also has "local" treaties with China and Japan (in about the same
time zone/longitude):
http://www.dlwc.nsw.gov.au/care/wetlands/facts/paa/birds/

Is US a party to these or similar treaties?

Can more wetlands be brought under protection of international treaties for
protection of migratory birds?

Cheers
Paul Hanly
Rhodes Remediation & Redevelopment Website
http://www.rhodesnsw.org



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==============================================================
ENVIRO-MICH:  Internet List and Forum for Michigan Environmental
and Conservation Issues and Michigan-based Citizen Action.   Archives at
http://www.great-lakes.net/lists/enviro-mich/

Postings to:  enviro-mich@great-lakes.net      For info, send email to
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