Amendment ties sage grouse to military training needs | NevadaAppeal.com

Amendment ties sage grouse to military training needs

Nevada Appeal Capitol Bureau

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, R-Carson City, and a handful of other western states senators are trying a new tactic to block the listing of the Sage Grouse as endangered.

“All three branches of our nation’s armed services have told us that a listing of the Greater Sage Grouse would negatively impact their training, readiness, operations and costs,” said Utah Republican Mike Lee. “Western states have a well-established and exemplarily record or implementing their own sage grouse conservation plans and there is zero need for other federal agencies to get involved.”

“Allowing our state to implement its proactive plan aimed at reducing threats like wildfire and invasive species to keep habitats is a better plan forward,” said Heller, who described the federal plans as “overly restrictive.”

They and seven other western senators introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act designed to protect the military’s ability to manage their training ranges at the same time giving states more control over management of wildlife in those areas. The amendment would delay listing the sage grouse and give states time to implement conservation plans.