Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, calls it “nothing short of bureaucratic bullying.”
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In what’s being described as a bird-brained prosecution, federal authorities are going after a California tree trimmer for accidentally injuring five birds while trying to remove limbs from a tree earlier this month.
Ernesto Pulido was hired by the U.S. Postal Service to cut back the trees, specifically to prevent a group of herons from sitting and defecating on the mail trucks parked below.
But in the course of pruning the trees, his crew cut down limbs where the black-crowned night herons – one of 1,026 species protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act — were nesting. Several baby birds fell and were injured.
Now, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reportedly is seeking he pay a $1,500 fine for a misdemeanor violation. The infraction can carry a penalty of up to $15,000 and six months in jail.