U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and U.S. Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) introduced an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014 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 Lesser Prairie Chicken as a threatened species.
“Just as we thought, in Kansas, the Lesser Prairie Chicken numbers are up in areas that have recently seen a little rain in this ongoing, multi-year drought,” Sen. Roberts said. “This amendment will protect farmers and ranchers, who are also suffering from the effects of drought, from having to change their operations and land management due to the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken.”
“As conservation efforts for the Lesser Prairie Chicken are considered, farmers and ranchers deserve the flexibility to implement plans that fit their operations,” Sen. Moran said. “I am committed to making certain the measures implemented are based on sound science and common sense, as well as represent the best interest of producers. We will continue to do what we can to resolve the problem and avoid thwarting industries vital to our state’s economy.”
The amendment is also cosponsored by U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Sens. Roberts and Moran have worked to avoid the Lesser Prairie Chicken’s listing. On June 13, 2013, the senators 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Director Dan Ashe agreed to provide within a week of the request.