Fish, Wildlife Service proposes listing lesser prairie-chicken under ESA
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a division of the Interior Department, today announced it is proposing to list two distinct population segments (DPS) of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act and requesting comments or information from the public, governmental agencies, the scientific community, industry, or any other interested parties concerning this proposed rule.
The lesser prairie-chicken occupies a five-state range that includes Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado and faces a number of threats, including modification, degradation and fragmentation of its habitat.
Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said, “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. 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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