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House Appropriations Committee passes Interior spending bill

Cara J

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The House Appropriations Committee has approved a $35.25 billion spending bill for the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and related agencies for fiscal year 2019. The committee approved the bill by a roll call vote of 25-20 on June 6 and adopted 13 amendments, some of which carry implications for wildlife management. An amendment put forth by Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) added language to the bill that would explicitly allow the Bureau of Land Management to use chemical or surgical sterilization to manage growing populations of wild horses and burros. The use of sterilization provides the Bureau of Land Management with an additional tool to manage the 82,000 horses and burros on western rangelands. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) put forth an amendment that would prohibit Interior from using funds to reintroduce grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) into Northern Cascades areas of Washington state. In April, Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke announced his support for plans to reintroduce grizzly bears there. The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been reviewing 126,000 public comments received on a draft environmental impact statement for grizzly reintroduction. The committee also adopted an amendment from Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) that prohibits Interior [...]

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