An amendment that would prevent the greater sage-grouse from being considered for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act until 2026 is on its way to the floor of the House of Representatives.
On Wednesday, April 29, the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) was marked up by the House Committee on Armed Services, where Representatives decided to keep the amendment in a 27-35 vote. A similar amendment was proposed on the 2016 NDAA, but the amendment was withdrawn. The amendment, part of a larger story involving the greater sage-grouse, follows withdrawals of mining and other activities in sensitive sage-grouse habitat. In September 2015, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced that listing the species was not warranted, largely due to cooperation between various stakeholder groups to conserve the species.
Another two provisions that were introduced but not passed in last year’s defense authorization bill were also passed through committee this year. One would give the Air Force jurisdiction over a large portion of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge, and another removes the American burrowing beetle from the endangered species list and delays listing of the lesser prairie chicken.
For more information on the amendments see the Deseret News, and check out this video to see how the Forest Service is working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the BLM and other partners to protect and conserve sage grouse and their habitat.