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Agricultural News

Oklahoma and Kansas Senators Decry Fish and Wildife Proposal to Call Lesser Prairie Chicken Endangered

Thu, 27 May 2021 07:47:26 EDT

Oklahoma and Kansas Senators Decry Fish and Wildife Proposal to Call Lesser Prairie Chicken Endangered All four Senators from Oklahoma and Kansas are blasting the Biden Administration's US Fish and Wildlife Service for ignoring the voluntary conservation efforts in recent years to grow the population of the Lesser Prairie Chicken and has proposed to list the LPC in the days ahead. Here are the statements quickly released by the four Senators on this announcement: (Click here for the statement from the Fish and WIldlife Service)

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) released the below statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a proposal to list two distinct population segments (DPS) of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Northern DPS, found in western Oklahoma and other states, is proposed as threatened with a 4(d) rule that tailors protections. The Southern DPS, found in eastern New Mexico and across the southwest Texas Panhandle, is proposed as endangered.

“Evidence shows that the Lesser Prairie Chicken is thriving, making this proposal to list it as ‘threatened’ in Oklahoma completely unnecessary,” Inhofe said. “It also opens the door to more complicated and burdensome federal regulations. The voluntary public-private conservation partnerships for the LPC and its habitat are working, as evidenced by recent aerial surveys which show the population has doubled since 2013. The Service’s disappointing listing proposal has potential to harm Oklahoma’s job creators, particularly our farmers, ranchers and energy producers. I urge the Service to abandon this erroneous process, especially because the previous listing effort was struck down in federal court in 2015.”

Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued a statement after the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act:

“For Oklahoma farmers and ranchers who have spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars in voluntary conservation efforts to keep the lesser prairie chicken off the endangered or threatened list, today was a painful reminder of the need to reform the Federal Endangered Species Act. The lesser prairie chicken has continued to increase in population and expand its habitat, which makes it completely unnecessary to propose it as a threatened species. The goal should be to recover an animal population, not to keep expanding the control of the Fish and Wildlife Service over more and more areas of the country. If the species is already recovering through voluntary conservation, why would a federal agency need to manage our land and economic development?”

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) today released the following statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced its proposal to list two population segments of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) as endangered and threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):

“The Biden administration's proposal to list the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act threatens to harm farmers, ranchers, energy producers and rural communities. Kansas and surrounding states invested millions of public and private dollars in conservation efforts in the habitat area, resulting in the bird’s population more than doubling. The decision to propose a listing despite voluntary conservation efforts that continue to successfully restore habitat area removes any incentive for similar locally-driven efforts to occur for other species. This proposal will result in less wildlife conservation in the future, not more.”

U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. issued the following statement after President Biden’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced they are proposing to list the Lessor Prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in the northern population segment that impacts Kansas.

“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement is disappointing and a reminder that this Administration favors government overreach and heavy handed regulation over cooperation with those who have been working to protect the Lesser Prairie Chicken’s habitat and growing the bird’s population across the Midwest,” said Senator Marshall. “Instead of working with landowners to promote continued voluntary efforts the service is instead implementing a listing that limits Landowner autonomy and opportunity. Today’s announcement will hurt our state’s economy, hinder our oil and gas independence, increase utility costs, and prevent the development of renewable energy in prime Western Kansas locations.”



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