Washington, DC - April 10, 2014
In response to the potential Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing of the sage grouse, which looms over 11 Western states, including Nevada, Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-2) today introduced H.R. 4419, the Sage-Grouse and Endangered Species Conservation and Protection Act. The legislation would:
1) Provide states, local communities and the federal government with proactive, common sense resource management options when faced with potential ESA listings.
2) Establish a funding source for habitat management projects related to ESA listings.
3) Ensure that the federal government fulfills its ownership obligation for funding such habitat projects when habitat issues are the source of a proposed listing.
The bill was drafted to address a dilemma faced by Nevada where 84 percent of the sage grouse habitat is owned by the federal government, yet federal land management agencies, which have requested almost no funding to carry out habitat preservation and restoration, attempt to pass the burden of funding on to the state and private landowners.
"The number one threat to sage hen habitat in Nevada is wildland fire," said Amodei. "Yet the federal land management agencies, who own the vast majority of the habitat, have not prioritized funding needed to undertake the necessary work to conserve the resource and prevent the ESA listing. Instead, they point fingers in an attempt to saddle state and private landowners with the responsibility for funding projects that are absolutely the responsibility of the federal government. This is nothing short of extortion and sadly adds another chapter to the war on the West story."