Pentagon Objects To GOP Rider Blocking Protection Of Birds
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon is objecting to a defense bill's inclusion of a Republican proposal that would bar the Fish and Wildlife Service from using the Endangered Species Act to protect two chicken-like birds in the western half of the U.S.
The Defense Department says in a position paper that the measure inserted into the policy bill is unnecessary. The House-approved language would block endangered-species listing for the sage grouse and lesser prairie chicken, which roam more than a dozen states west of the Mississippi River.
The one-paragraph statement says the GOP provision "is not necessary to protect military testing and training," adding that the Pentagon "urges its exclusion" from the defense bill under negotiation in Congress.
The Associated Press obtained a copy of the statement and confirmed its authenticity.