WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) issued the following statement today after learning from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Director Dan Ashe that the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) will be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act:
“Listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act will have real consequences on many sectors in communities across Kansas including agriculture, oil and gas development, ranching, transportation and wind energy. I am confident there are ways to address conserving the species while not hampering economic growth and farming and ranching activities. As conservation efforts are considered, producers deserve the flexibility to implement plans that fit their operations. Additionally, it will be imperative to account for ongoing species recovery developments. I am committed to working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to make certain the measures implemented are based on sound science and common sense, as well as represent the best interest of producers.”
Sen. Moran has worked to avoid the Lesser Prairie Chicken’s listing. On June 13, 2013, Sen. Moran sent a bipartisan letter requesting a six-month delay to the LPC listing decision in order to provide the maximum amount of time to consider the LPC listing allowed under federal law. This resulted in an extension that allowed time for evaluation of the science behind the listing decision and for the five-state plan to demonstrate results. That letter was a follow-up to a letter on Feb. 20, 2013, requesting an extension to the comment period for the proposed threatened listing, which Director Ashe agreed to provide within a week of the request.