• House Leadership’s Support for Sage Grouse Provision Frustrates Policy Bill Negotiations

    House Leadership’s Support for Sage Grouse Provision Frustrates Policy Bill Negotiations0

    The greater sage grouse, a black and brown grassland bird whose habitat encompasses parts of 11 western states, has taken on an oversized role in House-Senate negotiations over a conference agreement for the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill. The House’s Republican leadership is insisting the compromise bill retain language from the House version barring the sage grouse from being placed on the endangered species list through 2025 even though the issue is only loosely connected to the use of military training grounds. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has said he would not allow the final version of the annual defense policy to be considered on the chamber floor without that provision, in a bid to protect energy, mining and ranching interests, reports Defense News …

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  • Environmental Groups File Lawsuit Threatening Ft. Huachuca over Water Use0

    Several environmental groups have filed a federal lawsuit to force the Army to comply with an earlier ruling requiring it to determine whether operations at Fort Huachuca are depleting the San Pedro River, an action that ultimately could force officials to curtail missions at the southeastern Arizona post. The lawsuit is the latest move in a battle the environmental groups have fought for more than a decade to protect the San Pedro’s upper basin and two endangered species that live there. The suit seeks to force the Army to issue a new “biological opinion” to assess whether the installation’s reliance on groundwater pumping threatens the water umbel, a semi-aquatic plant, and the southwestern willow flycatcher …

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