WASHINGTON – 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.”
Items to Note:
- On Feb. 20, 2013, Sen. Moran requested an extension to the comment period for the proposed threatened listing of the LPC.
- 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.
- On March 27, 2014, the FWS announced its intention to list the LPC as a threatened species.
- On July 9, 2014, Sens. Moran and Roberts introduced an amendment to prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior from altering any land management practices based on the listing of the LPC as a threatened species.
- On July 31, 2014, Sen. Moran introduced legislation to protect producers from the consequences of the LPC listing as a threatened species under the ESA.
- On Jan. 21, 2015, Sen. Moran introduced an amendment to reverse the decision by the FWS to list the LPC as a threatened species under the ESA.
- On Aug. 4, 2015, Sen. Moran requested information from the FWS director regarding how the agency intended to use new evidence highlighting a significant increase in the LPC population.
- On July 19, 2016, the FWS removed the LPC from the endangered species list.
- On Jan. 24, 2017, Sen. Moran again requested an extension of the FWS deadline for comments and information relevant to the then latest 90-day petition funding and status review of the LPC.
- On April 24, 2018, Sen. Moran led a group of colleagues in calling on the Department of Interior Secretary not to list the LPC under the ESA.
- On Nov. 10, 2020, Sen. Moran secured report language in the Senate FY2021 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill directing the FWS to work with local stakeholders on voluntary conservation efforts to avoid a listing of the LPC on the ESA, following successfully including similar language in the FY2016-FY2020 appropriations bills.
- On May 21, 2021, Sen. Moran joined his colleagues in urging U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland to not list the LPC under the ESA.
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