Extension granted to lesser prairie chicken’s endangered species listing

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 1:59 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - An extension has been granted to the listing of the lesser prairie chicken on the Endangered Species list to allow officials more time to fight the move.

On Monday, Jan. 23, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would extend the effective date of the final rule to list the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act. The extension will last until March 27 and follows a letter penned by U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) and colleagues that was sent in December.

Sens. Marshall, Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) along with Representatives Tracey Mann (R-KS), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Ron Estes (R-KS) and more issued a joint statement following the move.

“While a delay gives industry stakeholders valuable time to prepare for more bureaucratic red tape, our preference continues to be that this listing of the lesser prairie chicken be dropped,” the legislators said. “Each party that is targeted by this listing must take advantage of this opportunity to continue to engage in their longstanding voluntary conservation efforts, a fact that went completely ignored by the federal government when it came to this decision. We commend Secretary Haaland for the additional time, but we will continue to do what we can at the federal level to stop the rule from going into effect.”

Earlier in January, Marshall said he led this same group to pen a letter to Deb Haaland, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior to request the extension. The members suggested that April 1 be the new deadline, which is before the primary nesting season of the bird.

On Dec. 21, Marshall noted that he, Moran, Inhofe, Landford, Mann, LaTurner, Estes and more introduced a Congressional Review Act joint resolution of disapproval to strike down the listing under the Endangered Species Act. The resolution would prevent the listing from having any effect.

Marshall indicated that the CRA is part of a multi-pronged approach to stop the lesser prairie chicken’s listing.