Wider Conservation Issues

Maglev Train

Luz Lazo, Washington Post:
A high-speed train that would take passengers from Washington to Baltimore in 15 minutes as an alternative to traffic-choked roads would cut through a swath of public land, raising alarms among researchers who say hundreds of acres of forests and sensitive areas would be destroyed. The 40-mile superconducting system for the magnetic-levitation train, or maglev, would travel aboveground for up to nine of those miles, crossing or touching upon some of the leading federal research facilities in the country. The path includes the nation’s largest agricultural scientific installation and the only National Wildlife Refuge established to support research. For more info, click here

Further information was supplied by Kyle Hart:
The National Parks Conservation Association, Anacostia Watershed Society, and Friends of Patuxent invite you to attend a briefing on the proposed construction of a Maglev train between Baltimore, MD, and Washington, D.C. This briefing will cover the countless environmental concerns with this proposal and how groups can engage in the NEPA Process. This event will be hosted via Zoom on April 15th from 3-4pm.

In this hour-long presentation, Dr. Marcia Watson with Friends of Patuxent will give an overview of the potential impacts, and then we will provide attendees with the tools to engage their organizations and members in this fight. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this Google Form to RSVP. A Zoom link will follow for all of those that register. Do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or comments. And please feel free to forward this email and registration information to anyone within your organization who should be in attendance.

Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you on this call!

Kyle Hart, Mid-Atlantic Field Representative | National Parks Conservation Association, 202-400-1193 | [email protected] | npca.org

Migratory Bird Treaty Act

Vinson and Elkins, JD Supra:
The Biden administration has signaled its intention to recriminalize non-purposeful, or incidental, “takes” of birds under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (“MBTA”). The longstanding debate over the scope of criminal liability under the MBTA centers around whether the law criminalizes non-purposeful “taking” of birds (e.g., when they collide with a wind turbine, land in oil and gas storage pits, or fly into buildings), or only intentional “taking” of birds (e.g., by hunting). Under the Trump administration’s interpretation, the MBTA only covered purposeful, intentional take. The Biden administration has indicated an intention to move in the opposite direction. The state of the law is likely to remain murky for some time because of a split among federal courts on the issue. For more info, click here