Important Bird Areas

Learn more about our 4th Annual "I Bird, I Vote" Bird Conservation Summit!

Thank you to all those who attended and spoke at our sold-out 4th annual “I Bird, I Vote” Bird Conservation Summit, hosted March 2 at the Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center in Laurel, MD. Our speakers addressed a variety of topics, with a common theme of keeping our forests, water, buildings, and biodiversity safe for birds and humans.

We are working to upload their presentations on our website, and will post them as soon as they are available. We will also share more action items that you can take to make Maryland and D.C. safer for birds. 

We continue to monitor bills in the Maryland legislature to make sure the interests of birds are represented. 

Please contact your state delegate and senator to let them know you SUPPORT the following bills:

The Task Force on Forest Conservation (SB0729/HB0735) sets up the body to undertake a technical review of existing forest cover in the state and an analysis of the health and quality of state forests. Much of the state-managed land is currently managed for biologically impoverished pine plantations. This bill is running into opposition with a strong lobby from the timber industry.

The No Net Loss of Forest bill (SB0203/HB0120) would change the state standard for achieving a no net loss of forest policy by altering the definition of "no net loss of forest" to mean that 40% of all land in Maryland is covered by forestland. This would ensure mitigation was achieved through restoration of forests rather than expensive and biologically inadequate street trees. This bill is running into opposition in the House. Please contact your local delegate to support this important bill.

The Chlorpyrifos ban (SB0270/HB0275) would ban the sale of this bird- and insect-killing chemical in Maryland. In 2017, the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took the unprecedented action of overturning its own proposed ban on chlorpyrifos. The state of Maryland has the opportunity to at least protect its own citizens and wildlife. The bill has had industry opposition. The House will vote on the bill this week. Please contact your local delegate to support this important bill.

THIS WEEK: please contact the committee chairs in the Maryland House and Senate to let them know you SUPPORT the following bills:

The Healthy Climate Initiative (HB1235/SB0702) would create a Maryland Healthy Climate Initiative housed in the Maryland Department of the Environment. The bill would make polluters and greenhouse gas emitters pay a steadily rising fee for emitting carbon pollution. It would incentive clean energy by imposing new state charges on greenhouse gas-emitting energy suppliers. Hearings are coming up in the Senate Finance Committee on March 5 and in the House Economic Matters Committee on March 8. You can help by contacting Economic Matters Chair Dereck Davis at dereck.davis@house.state.md.us or calling 301-858-3519 and by contacting Finance Committee Chair Delores G. Kelley at delores.kelley@senate.state.md.us or calling 410-841-3606.

The Pipeline and Water Protection Act (SB0387/HB0669) would require a person seeking to construct a natural gas pipeline to meet water quality certification standards and pay a nonrefundable fee for the state to review the application. The bill forces MDE to do a 401 water quality review on such proposals. The House hearing is on tap for March 7 at 1 p.m. in the Economic Matters Committee.
You can help now by contacting Economic Matters Chair Dereck Davis at dereck.davis@house.state.md.us or calling 301-858-3519. If your Senator is on the Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee which heard the bill in February, please tell them to pass this out of committee and onto the Senate floor.

The Solar Energy Blueprint bill (HB0532/SB0744) would establish a commission on the development of a Blueprint for Solar Energy in Maryland to guide units of state and local government in evaluating proposed solar energy projects. This is important, given ongoing efforts to cut down forests for solar projects. The upcoming House hearing is on tap for March 6 at 1 p.m. 
Please email or call Environment and Transportation Chair Delegate Kumar Barve at kumar.barve@house.state.md.us or 410-841-3990 to support the bill.

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB0516/HB1158) would establish criteria for qualified offshore wind projects, altering and extending the minimum required percentage of energy that must be derived from renewable sources in the State's renewable energy portfolio standard. This is an important step in helping Maryland kick the greenhouse gas habit and growing the renewable jobs sector. Hearings are coming up in the Senate Finance Committee on March 5 and in the House Economic Matters Committee on March 8.
You can support the bill by contacting Economic Matters Chair Dereck Davis at dereck.davis@house.state.md.us or calling 301-858-3519 and by contacting Finance Committee Chair Delores G. Kelley at delores.kelley@senate.state.md.us or calling 410-841-3606.

How you can help, right now