11:25 PM

Endangered Species Dodge a Bullet in the NDAA


October 1, 2015

Contact: Courtney Sexton, csexton@defenders.org, 202.772.0253

Endangered Species Dodge a Bullet in the NDAA
Defense bill House vote is big win for sage-grouse, other imperiled wildlife and the Endangered Species Act

WASHINGTON— Today the House passed the final text of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that was agreed to by House and Senate negotiators which dropped language that was a direct attack on imperiled wildlife and the laws that protect them. In a major win for wildlife conservation groups, the final bill dropped damaging provisions from the House that would have blocked or removed protection under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) for sage-grouse and two other imperiled species. House bill language that would have stripped the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service of primary jurisdiction over 800,000 acres of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge in Nevada was similarly removed from the final bill. The bill voted on today is likely to be vetoed by President Obama but for reasons that are unrelated to the wildlife conservation measures struck from the bill.    

The following is a statement from Jamie Rappaport Clark, President, Defenders of Wildlife:

“This is a big victory for our country’s threatened and endangered species. For several months now we have been fighting to get damaging anti-conservation language attacking three imperiled species and the Desert National Wildlife Refuge that was unrelated to national security and defense removed from the bill and I am relieved we were successful.

“Tacking anti-endangered species language onto an unrelated must-pass bill was an abuse of both our country’s conservation values and legislative process, and we are so grateful to the members of Congress who stood up for imperiled wildlife and endangered species protections. Representative Grijalva (D-AZ) has led opposition to these attacks for months, and Senators McCain (R-AZ) and Reed (D-RI) and Rep. Smith (D-WA) worked hard to remove the damaging provisions. They are all to be commended.”


Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.