Sen. Marshall joins colleagues to urge USFWS to not list Lesser Prairie-chicken as threatened species

Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Source: Wikipedia)
Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Source: Wikipedia)
Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 1:49 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Roger Marshall has joined colleagues to urge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to not list the Lesser Prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) says he joined colleagues to send a letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to urge her to not list the Lesser Prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act.

“Landowners in Kansas are dedicated conservationists and take pride in leaving their land cleaner, healthier, and safer for the next generation. They take it upon themselves to adopt conservation practices to protect wildlife, especially the most vulnerable species,” said Senator Marshall. “Recent population estimates reinforce the wisdom of following the lead of the landowners who are securing stronghold habitats and the USFWS should not undercut those efforts by imposing a listing on top of them.”

Sen. Marshall said in the letter that a premature listing of the species would send the wrong message to private partners.

“We strongly believe it would be imprudent and harmful to ongoing and unprecedented conservation efforts in our states for the Service to issue what would amount to a premature ESA listing proposal for the LPC,” said the letter. “A premature listing sends the wrong message to the private partners who have invested important resources and adopted conservation practices to protect the LPC and prevent a listing. A premature listing would undermine the confidence of the private sector in the Service and their willingness to maintain ongoing conservation activity related to the LPC or any other species under ESA consideration in the future. Instead, the Service should recognize, respect, and reward the private sector for their conservation efforts.”

According to Sen. Marshall, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services listed the Lesser Prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in 2014. He said the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas vacated the listing under the act due to failure to consider the impact of voluntary conservation efforts to preserve the bird. He said the USFWS will make its decision regarding listing the bird by May 26.

To read the full letter, click HERE.

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