Lawmakers slam ‘BIDEH’ rules, calling them bad for wildlife

By Michael Doyle | 04/11/2024 06:32 AM EDT

An administration official defended the Fish and Wildlife Service rulemaking from bipartisan criticism.

Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska).

Rep. Mary Peltola (D-Alaska) on Capitol Hill. She was the lone Democratic critic Wednesday of administration rulemaking on wildlife refuges. Francis Chung/POLITICO

House Republicans and one Democrat on Wednesday denounced a Biden administration initiative on managing “biological integrity, diversity, and environmental health” at national wildlife refuges.

Citing fears that predators and invasive species will gain ground while farmers and refuge supervisors will lose flexibility, the lawmakers called for the Fish and Wildlife Service to back off of its so-called BIDEH proposed rule.

“The service under this rule is instantly prohibiting practices and means of working on and around refuges, restricting the discretion of refuge managers and putting at risk [the] individual refugees,” said Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ore.).

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Bentz chairs the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries and convened a hearing Wednesday on the rulemaking.

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