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Defense Bill Delays Sage-Grouse Listing

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Language added to National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 would prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) from issuing a final listing for sage-grouse populations under the Endangered Species Act for the next 10 years. Congressmen Bishop (R-Utah), Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, added the language to the defense bill and argued that a final listing for sage-grouse would impact military exercises and increase compliance costs at Department of Defense (DOD) installations in western states. However, DOD spokesman Mark Wright has stated that greater federal regulation for the bird would not hinder the nation’s military. While DOD lands do host sage-grouse populations, the agency has worked with FWS and state officials to revise integrated natural resource management plans to account for sage-grouse population management. Despite attempts by other Members of Congress to put forward amendments striking the language from the bill, the overall bill, including the provision, was approved by the House Armed Services Committee and will advance the entire House for consideration. Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, anticipates the language delaying a sage-grouse listing will face little resistance in the Senate. While collaborative efforts between federal agencies, states, and private [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/defense-bill-delays-sage-grouse-listing/

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