Bishop Sage Grouse Amendment Survives Crucial Vote
WASHINGTON— In an effort to save the Department of Defense millions of dollars and protect critical military training facilities throughout the western United States, Rep. Rob Bishop has proposed an amendment to the annual defense bill that would prohibit the Obama Administration from declaring the Sage Grouse an endangered species. Such a designation would inhibit the military's ability to train on some vital lands thus negatively impacting troop readiness.
Rep. Bishop's amendment was challenged before the full body of the House Armed Services Committee by Congresswoman Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.). Her challenge was defeated by a significant margin.
The language introduced by Rep. Bishop will remain a part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which will soon be voted on by the full US House of Representatives. The congressman issued the following statement following today's committee action:
"This amendment, which balances conservation with national security, is basically about two things – military readiness and empowering the states. There is ample evidence that federal management of sage grouse populations is already hurting our military's ability to adequately train on and use critical areas in the west. This would only get worse with a federal endangered species designation and it would hamper the way our fighting men and women prepare to defend our country. There are also multiple examples already of state plans which are effectively managing and conserving sage grouse populations. We need to give time for these state plans, orchestrated by folks closest to the land and to the issue at hand, to be fully implemented and to accomplish their goal of protecting this bird."