Washington, D.C. — Legislation unveiled by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia lays out an innovative strategy to address the ongoing fragmentation of wildlife habitat from climate change and man-made barriers. The Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act would create a national program for maintaining wildlife migrations, movements, and wildlife corridors to ensure that wildlife will face fewer struggles to reach food, water, shelter and breeding sites.
“America’s wildlife are in crisis. More than one-third of all species at-risk or vulnerable to potential extinction in the decades ahead and fragmented migration corridors are only accelerating this problem,” said Collin O’Mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “It’s essential that as America grows and invests in roads, dams, bridges, housing developments and energy infrastructure that new barriers are minimized and mitigated to ensure that wildlife can still move across essential habitat. We’re thankful for Senator Udall and Representative Beyer’s leadership on this issue to protect and retain wildlife habitat while restoring and re-connecting critical wildlife corridors.”
What the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act of 2018 does for wildlife
- Creates a Wildlife Corridors Program. This system will allow wildlife to migrate across public lands with the changing seasons, boost biodiversity in degraded ecosystems, and ensure species are better able to adapt to climate change by establishing a process to identify and maintain wildlife corridors on the nation’s public lands. This system is an important and long overdue investment in the long-term health of wildlife populations, and will benefit all species, from antelope to carnivores like the wolverine to insects like the monarch butterfly.
- Creates a Wildlife Movements Grant Program to fund important habitat connectivity projects on state, private and tribal lands. The projects will be identified by the Regional Wildlife Movement Councils and the funding will be administered by a National Coordinating Committee. This work could consist of habitat or fencing improvements to support deer and pronghorn migrations, or creating culverts (pathways under infrastructure) that allow turtles, amphibians or fish to cross barriers safely.
- Creates Regional Wildlife Movement Councils. These councils will develop regional plans that identify important areas on non-federal lands where key projects can improve wildlife movements. This will ensure habitat connectivity across the country is enhanced beyond public lands.
- Creates a National Coordinating Committee. This committee will strengthen collaboration between the national system on public lands and the regional councils, which will oversee corridor efforts on state, private, and tribal lands.
- Creates a National Wildlife Corridor Database. This database that will include standardized, quality data, and will allow wildlife managers to make informed wildlife corridor decisions across the United States.
WASHINGTON — The Trump administration on Thursday detailed its plan to open nine million acres to drilling and mining by stripping away protections for the sage grouse, an imperiled ground-nesting bird that oil companies have long considered an obstacle to some of the richest deposits in the American West.
In one stroke, the action would open more land to drilling than any other step the administration has taken, environmental policy experts said. It drew immediate criticism from environmentalists while energy-industry representatives praised the move, saying that the earlier policy represented an overreach of federal authority.
“This is millions and millions of acres of Western land that stretch across the spine of this nation,” said Bobby McEnaney, an expert in Western land use at the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. “With this single action, the administration is saying: This landscape doesn’t matter. This species doesn’t matter. Oil and gas matter.”
Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, an association of independent oil and gas companies based in Denver, said in an email, “These plans will conserve the sage grouse without needlessly stifling economic activity.”
Patagonia, REI, others form Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition to protect public lands, improve growing outdoor recreation industry
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a 7-part series of stories dedicated to the Northern Nevada Business Weekly’s content focus for October-November — the business of Travel & Tourism.
- Go here to read part one: What’s new for the 2018-19 ski season at Reno-Tahoe’s downhill resorts?
- Go here to read part three: Remote Rubies: Nevada’s only heli-ski operation one of longest-running in U.S.
- Go here to read part four: Lime bike destruction, e-scooter confusion overshadow successful ridership numbers in Reno-Sparks
- Go here to read part five: The ‘bleisure’ effect: Conventions, marketing and more contribute to Reno-Tahoe tourism growth
Look for parts 6-7 in the coming days at http://www.nnbusinessview.com, or check out the full series in the NNBV’s next monthly edition, publishing Oct. 29.
Visit bit.ly/2HTsBlj to read the full draft language, meeting minutes and more from Washoe County about the Washoe County Economic Development and Conservation Act.
NORTHERN NEVADA NVOBC MEMBERS AS OF OCT. 19:
Tom Clark Solutions, Laughing Planet Café, Bubala Law, Coalition Snow, Desert Sky Adventures, Farmers Insurance, Home Means Nevada Co., Laxalt and McIver, Mesa Rim Climbing Centers, Silver Sage Center for Family Medicine, and Patagonia.
Visit getoutdoorsnevada.org/nvobc to learn more about the Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition and how to become a member.
RENO, Nev. — With 58 million acres of public land — colored with snow-capped mountains, clear blue alpine lakes, rolling green forests and expansive white playas — Nevada is considered by many to be a sanctuary for outdoor recreation.
In fact, according to the Outdoor Industry Association, the rec industry is an economic powerhouse for the Silver State, spawning a growing number of jobs, consumer spending and tax revenue.
The numbers don’t lie. Nevada’s outdoor recreation industry generates 87,000 jobs — trailing only gaming and healthcare — and $12.6 billion annually in consumer spending, according to the OIA. That’s $2 billion more in economic output and nearly 50,000 more jobs than the Silver State’s mining industry.
Yet, despite being a big piece of the state’s economic backbone, Nevada’s outdoor recreation industry hasn’t had a distinct business voice — until now.
In late September, on National Public Lands Day, a group of Nevada businesses launched the newly formed Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition (NVOBC).
The group advocates for initiatives that improve Nevada’s outdoor recreation economy and protect public lands and waters that support the industry, said Meghan Wolf, environmental activism manager at Patagonia.
“We really want to have a singular business voice advocating and informing about what outdoor recreation means to us,” Wolf, one of eight business representatives who serve on the NVOBC Executive Committee, told the NNBV. “From a Patagonia perspective, we’ve been in Reno since ’96 when we opened our global distribution center, and we’ve grown almost double-digits almost every year in the last two decades. And we think that’s attributed to this outdoor recreation economy — people wanting to go into these parks, wilderness areas and conservation areas.”
MORE PUBLIC ACCESS
There are plenty of those areas in vast Nevada. According to a 2016 report by TIME, nearly 85 percent of the state’s land is owned by the government. Simply put, no state in the U.S. has more public land.
“People can go out and hunt, fish, hike, camp without paying as many fees as you would in a state like Texas, for example, that’s predominantly private land — people have to pay to hunt there,” Wolf said. “There’s a growing population that wants this kind of access, and that’s supported our business. The outdoor recreation has grown and we’ve felt and benefited from that growth.”
Tim Healion, manager of The Laughing Planet Café in Midtown Reno (which is a member of the NVOBC), echoed Wolf’s sentiment. Immersed in Northern Nevada’s food industry for roughly 35 years, Healion said his restaurants are wildly popular with outdoor recreationists.
“We’re fast-casual, healthy food — outdoor people want healthy stuff,” Healion said. “I’ve been making money out of the outdoor group for a long time and acknowledged that.
“So if we got all of these people that are benefiting from it and sharing that economy, let’s organize, let’s get together, and have a shared voice about protecting our interests.”
NORTHERN NEVADA FACTOR
Zooming in on Northern Nevada, Wolf said Washoe and Douglas counties — “which continue to develop pretty rapidly” — are areas the coalition is focused on protecting and creating spaces for recreation.
After all, the greater Reno area’s access to the great outdoors is a reason why many people or businesses decide to stay or move to the region, she added. According to the OIA, 57 percent of Nevada residents participate in outdoor recreation each year. What’s more, Nevada residents are more likely to participate in day hiking and backpacking than the average American.
Wolf said the coalition is weighing in on a Washoe County public lands bill that would open up development on federal land in the Reno-Sparks region. The proposal, called the Washoe County Economic Development and Conservation Act, would sell off roughly 80,000 acres around the Truckee Meadows for development.
According to Washoe County, “the benefit of the bill is to help support and give options for sustained growth while also maintaining the lifestyle that draws and keeps so many people in our beautiful region.”
The NVOBC and fellow conservationists disagree. Of the 662,000 acres in question, the bill would designate 175,000 acres of wilderness and 83,000 acres of National Conservation Area. The remaining 400,000 acres of wilderness study area would be released back to the state — in other words, the land would no longer be protected, Wolf said.
“They felt that was a fair divide — we didn’t,” Wolf said. “There’s some beautiful areas up there that are kept intact. They view it as not really worth protecting, and we think it is.”
Wolf said the coalition sent a letter to the county commission and congressional delegations in opposition of the Washoe County lands bill.
“It’s not a very well developed plan right now,” Wolf added. “It’s not concrete enough to show how much money that would generate.”
EYING THE LEGISLATURE
As of mid-October, there were 24 businesses — ranging from outdoor adventure companies to an architecture firm — signed up as Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition members, including 11 from Northern Nevada.
The coalition hopes to have 100 businesses on board by the end of the year, according Healion said.
“Our intent is to have a bit of ‘ammo’ before the legislature gets in session next year (in the spring) so that we can go down there and lobby,” he said. “The earth is getting used, and it’s nice to have a place to go where you’re not looking at 7-Eleven or a housing development or a mine.
“And we need to protect it. There’s a lot more people that want to protect it than the guys with a lot of money that want to put a hole in the ground.”
Boone and Crockett Club: A Win for Big Game
MISSOULA, Mont. (October 24, 2018) – The Boone and Crockett Club, the name synonymous with big game hunting and conservation, today applauded Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s announcement that the lands western big game species depend upon as migration corridors will finally be getting much needed attention. The Secretary announced that, through a public-private partnership, $2.7 million in grants will be dedicated to restoring and enhancing critical migration habitat in 11 Western states. The partnership includes the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and ConocoPhillips. The species directly benefiting from this action are the migrating herds of mule deer, elk and pronghorn antelope.
“This announcement is a giant step in the right direction toward the implementation of the Secretary’s Order 3362, which is a focus on migration corridors,” explained James L. Cummins, co-chairman of the Boone and Crockett Club’s Conservation Policy Committee. “Big game species do not pay any attention to lines on a map or who owns what or who manages what. The best we can do for them is clear a path so they have unobstructed and safe access to the best habitats available to them.”
Grant funds will be used to restore habitat quality on degraded winter ranges, historic migration corridors and stopover areas while addressing issues such as restrictive fencing, dangerous highway crossings, and bottlenecks. Funds will also be available for implementing other measures like conservation easements, and habitat fragmentation and connectivity.
“The other piece of good news is that this is a collaborative partnership of stakeholders,” Cummins explained. “When you have the residing state and federal wildlife and land agencies, tribal agencies, highway departments, private landowners, conservation organizations, and industry joining forces, that’s when things get done. We applaud Secretary Zinke and his fine staff, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and ConocoPhillips for putting this initiative together. Our nation’s wildlife will be the better for it.” Those eligible for grant funding include, non-profit 501(c) organizations, U.S. Federal government agencies, state government agencies, local governments, municipal governments, and Indian tribes.
DATE: Thursday, August 9th
TIME: 5:30 pm
PLACE: Arizona Charlies, 740 S. Decatur Blvd., Las Vegas NV 89107
Nevada is the envy of sportsmen from all over the country and is truly a sporting paradise. With nearly 60 million acres of public land, abundant world class big game and upland game populations along with world class fisheries, outdoor recreation like hunting, fishing and camping are what make Nevada so unique and special.
Come and join us for an evening of lively discussion about some of the most relevant and important issues facing the sporting and wildlife conservation community in Nevada.
Topics will include
- Military land withdrawals from the Desert National Wildlife Refuge along with military land withdrawals from important big horn sheep habitat in northern Nevada near the Fallon Naval Air Station. We will be discussing how the sporting and conservation community can work together to advocate for and protect our wildlife resources.
- Important legislation regarding habitat protection for sage grouse, mule deer and pronghorn.
- Wildfire and invasive – What can we do to improve wildfire fighting resources in Nevada?
- Wildlife conservation funding – What can sportsmen do?
This forum will be both informative as well as a call to action. Sportsmen need to be engaged and to know about threats to our public lands, wildlife and wildlife habitat. We need to think about what we can do as a community to help insure that our sporting heritage is passed on to future generations and that our public lands and wildlife remain abundant and accessible to all of us.
We need you, members of the sporting public to attend. An informed sportsmen’s community is a powerful sportsmen’s community. This forum brings together members of different sporting groups for some fun socializing, and to share ideas and concerns and to develop strategies to be more effective as a community in the political process.
What we take for granted today could be gone tomorrow if sportsmen are not diligent about staying informed and being involved in the political decision making process.
Please put it on your calendar and plan to attend.
If you have additional questions please contact Eric Petlock at firstname.lastname@example.org
KEVIN McNAIR—–Kevin is a 53 year native of Las Vegas and has a Marketing Degree from UNLV. Kevin worked for numerous Hotels and Casinos in high level Marketing positions before starting his own Firearms Training business – Tactical West. Specializing in Multi-State Concealed Carry Training, Nevada Dept of Wildlife Hunter Ed Training, Tactical Training, Personal Protection and adapting Firearms Training to his customer’s needs.
Kevin is a lifelong shooter and outdoorsman having several record harvests under his belt! Kevin has served on the Board of Safari Club International (SCI), Chapter Chair/President is the Las Vegas Chapter of the Mule Deer Foundation and was most recently voted President of the Wildlife and Habitat Improvement of Nevada (WHIN).
Kevin is a Pro Staff Member of several Firearms related organizations and has also received several awards for his community achievements towards hunter education, firearms safety and his dedication to adult and youth Firearms Safety. Mr. McNair will be voted in at the August 8th quarterly meeting.
Reno Gazette Journal, Friday June 29
Don’t complicate military funding with wildlife issues: Johnson
By Larry Johnson
The National Defense Authorization Act is wending its way through Congress. This important legislation provides funding for our armed forces and national defense – which is why we need to ensure the bill doesn’t get bogged down with amendments that have nothing to do with our national defense and everything to do with politics. Unfortunately, a representative from Utah is trying to do just that.
His pet project is attempting to derail the historic conservation plans that kept the sage-grouse off the endangered species list by attaching an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would derail sage-grouse conservation in the name of national defense. What opponents of sage-grouse conservation are attempting to achieve is to renege on a deal made with Western states that kept the sage-grouse off the endangered species list. Western governors, including Gov. Sandoval, hunters, ranchers, miners, industry representatives and federal agencies came to the table and developed the historic agreement that would eliminate the need to list the imperiled bird.
This was a gargantuan task, one of the largest collaborative conservation efforts ever undertaken in our country. The process was exhaustive, inclusive and resulted in a historic agreement. Which is why the attempts to undermine this effort are so maddening. Nevadans came to the table, rolled up their sleeves and got things done. Decision-makers in D.C. could actually learn a thing or two from that process instead of trying to go back on the deal.
As hunters and sportsmen, we care about the plight of this bird because sage-grouse conservation also benefits big game in Nevada. Sixty percent — 16.7 million acres — of identified sage-grouse habitat in our state is also important to big game, particularly our declining mule deer herds, according to Nevada Department of Wildlife data. Those out to derail sage-grouse conservation plans claim the plans will hinder activities on military installations.
But this is just a classic political smoke screen. Defense officials already have said the sage-grouse plans will not affect military readiness, training and operations. Those in the House and Senate who are trying to attach this amendment to an important military spending bill are doing so only because they know that there is very little support for their scheme.
They hope that by quietly slipping this amendment into a must-pass bill, they can sneak something over on us. This scheme will ultimately end with the disastrous endangered species listing decision that we have been trying to avoid. We hope that Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto and Dean Heller truly understand the amount of work that went into this deal and oppose any effort to derail sage-grouse conservation by using our national defense as an excuse.
When members of Congress come together over the next few weeks to agree on a final defense spending package, the sage-grouse amendment needs to be left on the cutting-room floor. The stakes are high on this issue and we need the folks back in Washington, D.C. to work with us and honor the deal that was made. If we don’t stop playing politics with military spending, we’re going to be right back where we started from a few years ago with the threat of an endangered species listing.
This is a very real threat to our Western way of life. These sage-grouse plans have nothing to do with the military and everything to do with conserving the very habitat we need to maintain our iconic wildlife populations here in the West. We need to stop playing politics and get to work on implementing the sage-grouse plans. A deal is a deal; that’s how we do things in Nevada.
Larry Johnson is the president of the Coalition for Nevada’s Wildlife and past president and director for Nevada Bighorns Unlimited. He is a lifelong sportsman and wildlife conservation advocate.
Dean Heller United States Senator from Nevada 324 Senate Hart Office Building Washington, DC 20510 6/15/2018
To the Honorable Senator Dean Heller:
As representatives from organizations representing over 10,000 Nevadans, we are deeply concerned with your expressed support for a rider in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), concerning the greater sage-grouse. This unnecessary provision is wholly unrelated to our national defense, and would undermine years of collaboration between western governors, ranchers, sportsmen, conservationists, and other stakeholders to conserve the sage-grouse and its habitat.
While the rider’s author claims that sage-grouse conservation impacts our military operations and readiness, this is simply not true. There is no evidence that military operations have ever been compromised by federal planning efforts focused on the sage-grouse. This has been supported in letters released by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense Readiness, Army, Navy, and Air Force on the sage-grouse plans that clearly state the plans do not impede on our nation’s military operations, training, or readiness. If this rider is attached to the NDAA it would have negative impacts for Nevada and stakeholders in the state.
The rider would enact a ten year ban on listing the sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act, which would eliminate a key incentive to fully fund and implement the federal and state sage-grouse conservation plans. This rider would discourage the full and faithful implementation of federal and state conservation plans, thus increasing the likelihood that Greater sage-grouse would be listed following the ten-year ban, an outcome we hope to avoid. Additionally, including this rider in the NDAA would set a dangerous precedent for including ideological and non-germane riders within this must-pass national security legislation.
Presiding leadership of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has long succeeded in keeping the NDAA largely free of unrelated, ideological policy riders. In recent years, Senator John McCain – the current Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee – has taken a clear stand against including these types of provisions in the Defense bill. For example, in December 2016 Senator McCain stated in reference to the sage-grouse rider, “It has nothing to do with defense, because the law is no Endangered Species Act can interfere with the operations and trainings at military bases. So it had no connection to NDAA.” (“GOP Politicians Won’t Keep The Sage Grouse From Listing,” Wyoming Public Media December 2, 2016).
Instead of supporting this rider, we invite you to join us and work to ensure our armed forces remain safe and well-trained through a clean NDAA bill and Nevada’s public lands are kept an open and working landscape to be enjoyed by hunters, anglers, businesses, and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. We strongly encourage you to honor the deal that was made for the sage-grouse in 2015 and let the on-the-ground conservation work continue.
We request that you oppose including the extraneous sage-grouse rider in the National Defense Authorization Act, support the 2015 plans that were collaboratively developed, and join us in ensuring the hard work being done on the ground to conserve the Greater sage-grouse in Nevada continues.
Nevada Bighorns Unlimited
Nevada Field Representative
Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership
President Nevada Wildlife Federation
President & CEO, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
Aaron Kindle, Senior Manager,
Western Sportsmen National Wildlife Federation
This article is from a few weeks back, but it explains what’s going on with the National Defense Authorization Bill or NDAA. Please read this article and then contact Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei’s office ASAP and let them know that we strongly oppose the “Sage Grouse Rider”. The NDAA is going to conference committee next week, where the differences between the House version and the Senate version of the bill will be worked out. Currently the Senate version does not have the Sage Grouse Rider but the house version does. Congressman Rob Bishop from Utah is pushing this amendment and we need to make sure it doesn’t make it into the final version of the NDAA. Our congressional representative need to know that Nevadan’s strongly oppose this blatant attempt to derail sage grouse habitat protection. Please reach out to your representative today!
Prospects for sage grouse rider’s survival improve
Sage grouse policy has once again made it into the defense authorization bill thanks to House Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), but this year, his provision may have a shot at becoming law. That’s because of a notable absence: Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain. The Arizona Republican is a stickler for germane policy in the annual National Defense Authorization Act. In 2015 and 2016, he helped foil Bishop’s sage grouse efforts during the conference process, panning them as unrelated to the military.
But as McCain continues treatment for brain cancer, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) will likely handle the defense bill on the Senate side. The longtime ally of the energy industry is likely to be more amenable to Bishop’s proposal. “If they’ve got it in there, we ought to be able to support that in conference,” Inhofe told E&E News last week.
Bishop, for his part, demurred when asked last week whether he thought he had better chances this year. “We’ll have to see what happens,” he said. After a pause, he added, “You obviously know why I think it could happen, but I can’t say why I think it could happen, so we’ll leave it at that.” Bishop’s amendment — added during the NDAA markup earlier this month — would bar the Fish and Wildlife Service from listing the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act for 10 years and delist the American burying beetle, a critically endangered species.
It would also prevent FWS from listing another bird that roams Inhofe’s home state: the lesser prairie chicken. Inhofe — who has been leading the Armed Services Committee in McCain’s stead — said the prairie chicken language is “very important” to him. “This issue has been with us now for almost 10 years,” Inhofe said. The issue is that federal sage grouse and lesser prairie chicken habitat managers can restrict military training ranges and airspace in vast swaths of the American West.
The problem would be worse, Bishop and other Western lawmakers say, if either species were to be listed under the ESA. “We are dealing with this issue in a broad sense in our committee, but this amendment specifically goes to the 27 ranges and the 19 training areas that are in the western United States,” Bishop said at the NDAA markup. Bishop says the Department of Defense supports his amendment, but Democrats cry foul, noting that DOD specifically said it did not need alterations to sage grouse policy last time Bishop brought the issue up (E&E Daily, April 27, 2016).
Opponents say it’s a handout to the oil and gas and mining industries, which have long sought flexibility to drill in sage grouse habitat, and sets bad precedents for endangered species policy. “They’ve always in the past tried to connect this to military training, and we’ve gotten letters from the Department of Defense saying that’s not true,” said Garett Reppenhagen, a former Army sniper and now Rocky Mountain director for the Vet Voice Foundation. “Anybody in the military will tell you that we’re going to adjust whatever we need to do to make sure that we can do our training.”
Environmental groups add that there is little justification for delisting the American burying beetle, which now occupies a fraction of its historical range. Either way, the language will face its first test when the NDAA hits the House floor this week. A coalition of House Democrats — led by Natural Resources ranking member Raúl Grijalva of Arizona — has introduced an amendment to strike the provision, as well as language in the bill that would extend the Navy’s take permits under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
It’s not clear whether the GOP-controlled Rules Committee will allow the amendment to come up for a vote, though it will likely reject most of the more than 500 amendments that have been filed. The panel will meet this evening to debate the full bill and again tomorrow to decide which amendments are in order. In a statement of dissenting views, Democrats on the House Armed Services Committee wrote that Bishop’s provision could “jeopardize” the entire bill.
The language would “set a terrible precedent for the management of species in need of conservation by having Congress micro-manage specific species,” they wrote. The Senate Armed Services panel, meanwhile, will spend the week marking up its version of the bill in closed sessions, first in the subcommittees and then with the full panel. There’s another potential enemy of Bishop’s language on that side of Capitol Hill. The Senate Armed Services ranking member, Sen. Jack Reed, is from Rhode Island — where the American burying beetle is the state insect.
Sage grouse isn’t the only Bishop-backed natural resources provision in the defense bill. Another section of the NDAA would permit indefinite land withdrawals from the Interior Department for military installations with an integrated natural resources management plan, which requires the military to show its impacts on wildlife and habitat. Federal law currently requires reviews of military leases every 25 years, including full environmental impact statements.
The language is nearly identical to a bill, H.R. 4299, that passed the Natural Resources Committee in November and was included in last year’s House NDAA before getting struck down in conference. The military spends millions of dollars on environmental impact statements for withdrawals, and yet Interior has never rejected a renewal request, the Natural Resources Committee wrote in a memo on the bill last year. Environmentalists, meanwhile, say renewing every 25 years is not much of a burden, especially because it promotes a public dialogue about how Interior manages its lands.
Of particular concern is a current proposal by the Air Force to expand training and testing in the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. The service will have to complete an EIS and get congressional approval, but environmentalists fear the Bishop proposal could undermine that process. “The process is working as intended, which is we’re having a public debate about whether that withdrawal is appropriate,” said Mark Salvo, vice president for landscape conservation at Defenders of Wildlife.