Oklahoma Tells US Fish and Wildlife- We Can Increase Lesser Prairie Chickens IF You Leave Us AloneWed, 25 Jan 2012 05:26:35 CST
Oklahoma officials have been in Washington this week, presenting a Task Force report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service that explains what Oklahoma is doing to grow the population of the Lesser Prairie Chicken in northwest Oklahoma- including the Oklahoma Panhandle. Those who traveled to Washington included Secretary of the Environment Gary Sherrer, Secretary of Agriculture Jim Reese and state lawmakers Rep. Gus Blackwell and Senator Mike Schulz.
According to the Task Force report dated December 31st, Oklahoma is telling the Federal government that there are several ways to accomplish the goal of saving the Lesser Prairie Chicken. Those key points include:
Control invasive vegetation that interferes with natural habitats
and/or supports predators. In particular, controlled burns should
be considered for the eastern redcedar.
Utilize cooperative agreements with public and private landowners
to provide more accurate and updated estimates of the LPC
Conduct an informational campaign with local constituencies
regarding the possible LPC listing and the need for collaboration by
stakeholders. Current lack of information decreases trust between
constituencies that must work cooperatively to address the LPC
Mark or reduce high-density fencing where possible. Coordinate
with public agencies and landowners to determine optimal fence
heights that reduce risk to the LPC while still helping to control
Seek to provide more contiguous habitat acreage and avoid
fragmentation. Pursue connecting corridors between habitats
Monitor grazing to retain cover while still allowing livestock on the
Commission peer-review research to provide more certain science
on causes of population increases/decreases, including the
impacts of natural causes such as Oklahoma's current drought.
Minimize pesticide and herbicide use that limits food sources of the
Balance necessary infrastructure for development to lessen the
impact on the LPC and other species. For example, where vertical
structures are needed for energy production or power
transmission, utilize spatial planning tools and limit impervious
surfaces wherever feasible.
We talked to Secretary Reese in advance of the group traveling to Washington- click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear his comments on the Oklahoma plan and his desire to see the Federal government to pay attention.
Click here for the full Task Force Report as found on the Department of Commerce website.
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