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Agricultural News


Forums to be Held on the Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken on Endangered Species List

Fri, 02 Sep 2011 10:54:27 CDT

Forums to be Held on the Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken on Endangered Species List The office of U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, along with Oklahoma Secretary of the Environment Gary Sherrer, will hold forums in Woodward and Edmond with newly confirmed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Dan Ashe concerning the potential listing of the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered or threatened species. Agreement from Ashe to hold the meetings was secured by Inhofe in May.


Senator Inhofe: "I am pleased that FWS Director Dan Ashe has accepted my request to visit Oklahoma to discuss the impacts of the potential listing of the lesser prairie chicken, and I look forward to welcoming him to Woodward and Edmond. This decision could have especially negative consequences for jobs and economic development in our state and Oklahomans will benefit from the chance to express their concerns. Instead of going through with an ESA listing, I hope that we can come to an agreement that will implement a public-private partnership, which will help us make progress on protecting the species while ensuring that economic growth is sustained."


The lesser prairie chicken has been a candidate species for over the previous ten years. However, beginning in January 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service initiated the listing process for the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act. The Service expects to issue a proposed rule on whether to list the species by September 30, 2012.


The lesser prairie chicken occupies a five-state range that includes Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. The range in Oklahoma includes the Panhandle and several western Oklahoma counties.


Director Ashe and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff will address interested parties on the current stage of the process, hear from interested parties on a potential listing, and answer questions. These meetings will allow participants to contribute directly to the Service's decision making process.


The first meeting will be held in Woodward, Okla., at 5:00 p.m. on September 7, at the High Plains Technology Center, Seminar Room, 3941 34th Street,Woodward, OK 73801.


The second meeting will be held in Edmond, Okla., at 9:00 a.m. on September 8, at the University of Central Oklahoma, Nigh University Center, Room 300, 100 North University Drive, Edmond, OK 73034.


   

 

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