Conservation groups have called on Congress to drop a budget provision that would allow western governors to slow down efforts aimed at sage grouse conservation.
The U.S. Department of the Interior last year decided not to list the bird as an endangered species. But it said federal conservation efforts across many western states would be key to the bird’s survival.
A rider inserted by the House of Representatives into the Defense Authorization Act would allow Western governors to block work to save habitat. It also prevents the Interior Department from reconsidering and elevating the status of the bird to “endangered” for the next decade.
Congress is expected to revisit the bill after the November election.