We’re grateful to Gov. Gary Herbert for his leadership in declaring May as Month of the Bird, celebrating the importance of birds and the places they need.

While celebrating birds in Utah, we also commemorate the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which has saved numerous species from extinction over the past century.

Even with the act’s protections, birds still face human-caused threats — they can die when landing on uncovered oil pits or fly into unseen tall structures. The MBTA has spurred innovations to avert bird deaths; companies have worked with conservation groups and wildlife agencies to implement simple and inexpensive ways to protect birds.

But recently, the Interior Department decided to change the way it applies the law and end industry accountability for bird deaths. Consequently, a coalition of conservation groups, including National Audubon Society, is asking a court to reinstate precedent.

That may not be enough, because legislation to undermine the law is also pending in Congress (HR4239).

Let’s continue efforts to protect the birds and the places they need for another 100 years. Let your congressional representatives know how important MBTA is to you. Learn more and take action at Audubon.org.

Heather Dove, Great Salt Lake Audubon, Salt Lake City