WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced an amendment this week to reverse the decision by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.
“It is time for Congress to act to protect rural Kansas from the consequences of the listing of the lesser prairie chicken,” Sen. Moran said. “Regulations due to the listing that dictate how people manage their land and resources are yet another example of unnecessary intrusion into private lives and businesses by the federal government. In fact, a number of industries – farming, ranching, oil and gas development, transportation and wind energy – are already feeling the effects of the listing. I am confident there are ways to conserve the species without hindering economic development in rural communities. Listing the bird as a threatened species is not the answer.”
Approximately half of the lesser prairie chicken population is found in Kansas, while the bird’s range also includes Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The lesser prairie chicken population decreased during the historic drought that severely impacted much of the bird’s habitat area. However, from 2013 to 2014, annual aerial surveys show the lesser prairie chicken population increased by 20 percent, largely due to rainfall conditions in much of the habitat area that were closer to historic norms.
Sen. Moran worked to avoid the lesser prairie chicken’s listing. He remains committed to reversing the decision to protect rural Kansas from rules and regulations from the federal government that infringe on private property rights and hinder economic development.