Bad News for Desert Bighorns
The House Armed Services Committee proposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to give the Air Force final decision-making authority over the use of
850,000 acres of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge
Put forth by Utah Rep. Rob Bishop (Mr. Anti-Public Lands), this occurred after a Senate committee thwarted a similar plan in early June after strong push back from the Nevada delegation, residents, tribal nations, and conservation groups.
As the largest wildlife refuge in the lower 48 states
, this landscape holds a variety of ecosystems, from fragile desert to pine-covered mountains. It is home to the iconic
desert bighorn sheep
Mojave desert tortoise
, and other species whose survival depends on undisturbed habitat
. It is
the place for a military industrial training center.
These public lands were set aside to protect habitat and should remain undisturbed and under the management of the US Fish & Wildlife Service.