Lesser prairie chicken listed as threatened species
Leaders from the range states, including governors and lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have blasted FWS for the “threatened” listing.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback called it a federal overreach and announced on March 28 that the state will join other range states and take its fight against the listing to the Courts.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin said while she was pleased that FWS will allow states to continue efforts under the range-wide plan, the potential impact of this listing without the range-wide plan could be damaging to her state’s economy, which relies heavily on energy and agriculture.
U.S. Senators and members of the House of Representatives, from the five states joined their governors in raising concerns and saying the federal listing was not necessary because of the ongoing voluntary, state-led efforts. Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe said his greatest concern with the listing is that it is “easier to list a species than delist it.”
“Just look at the American Burying Beetle (ABB) in Eastern Oklahoma. The beetle has been listed as endangered since 1989, even though newly published population surveys show a population 10 times larger than the conservation goals outlined in the original ABB conservation plans,” Sen. Inhofe said. “Despite this, the ABB remains an endangered species, and it is one without a General Conservation Plan, making economic development in the ABB range very difficult to undertake. That ABB remaining listed is to the detriment of Eastern Oklahoma’s economy.”
The final rule to list the LPC and the final rule will be published in the Federal Register and will take effect 30 days after publication. The final rule can be found on the FWS website at www.fws.gov/southwest.
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