09:37 PM

House Armed Forces Committee Passes Anti-Sage-Grouse Language in Defense Bill


April 29, 2015

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

House Armed Forces Committee Passes Anti-Sage-Grouse Language in Defense Bill

Rep. Tsongas’ laudable attempt fails to remove unrelated and unnecessary restriction that would harm sage-grouse and undermine thoughtful conservation planning

WASHINGTON— Today the House of Representative’s Armed Services Committee rejected an amendment to the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act to strike a provision from the bill that would delay a listing decision for greater sage-grouse for at least 10 years and transfer the management of millions of acres of federal lands to western states. Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA) introduced the amendment to strike the unnecessary and irrelevant language inserted into the bill by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT).

“Rep. Tsongas’ amendment was the appropriate and logical response to the sage-grouse provision that would further jeopardize the imperiled grouse and give western states unparalleled and unprecedented veto power over the management of millions of acres of federal lands. We deeply appreciate her efforts to conserve the sage-grouse, federal lands and the myriad of species that depend on those lands. It is truly unfortunate that others on the committee weren’t persuaded to vote for her amendment to strike and are willing to turn millions of acres of federal lands over to the control of the states.

“The military didn’t ask for this exemption. In fact, military installations across the west have been doing an admirable job conserving sage-grouse without compromising military readiness.

“We hope the Senate will reject this destructive proposal in its bill later this year. Sage-grouse are certainly no threat to national security and should not be used as an excuse to give the states control over millions of acres of federal lands.


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