Offensive Riders Stripped from Defense Bill

On a positive note, one effort to use a critical (and completely unrelated) piece of legislation to erode the ESA failed decisively. The bill in question is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which sets the budget for US defense activities. Thanks to members of the House and Senate conference committee—as well as a number of other members of Congress who signed letters in opposition—the NDAA went to the president stripped of ESA-damaging language that had been added to the House version of the bill. The House provisions would have prevented the listing of the greater sage-grouse and lesser prairie-chicken for the next 10 years, removed protections from the American burying beetle, and barred citizens from challenging these or any similar actions in court.

A compromise was reached on another anti-wildlife provision in the House bill. Currently, the Navy must conduct an analysis every five years of the harm it causes marine mammals from its training and testing activities. The House provision would have extended that gap to 10 years. The period was instead extended to seven years.

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