Lankford, Colleagues Request Extension for Lesser Prairie-Chicken Listing

Government and Politics

January 12, 2023

Lankford, Colleagues Request Extension for Lesser Prairie-Chicken Listing

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Today, Senators James Lankford (R-OK) and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS), along with nine of their colleagues, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland requesting an extension to delay the final rule that will list the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) under the Endangered Species Act. The Members suggested April 1 be the new deadline, which is before the primary nesting season of the bird. If this request isn’t granted the rule will become effective on January 24, ending the ability for industry stakeholders to adjust their operations and finalize voluntary efforts to conserve the bird.

 In their letter the Members wrote in part, “First and foremost, we believe the Service should promote voluntary conservation work that has proven successful at conserving the bird and not list the LPC whatsoever. Given the decades-long history of private lands conservation in coordination with the Service and state partners, we believe listing the LPC undermines private property rights and will discourage critical conservation efforts on private lands. Let us be clear, while we strongly urge the Service to revoke the listing, at minimum it is necessary to delay the effective date for involved parties to effectively comply with the rule. An extension of the effective date will give industry stakeholders more time to participate in or expand voluntary conservation prior to the primary nesting season of the LPC and give ranchers time to comply with the new 4(d) rule for grazing activities or establish Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA).”

 Lankford and Marshall were joined by Senators Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Representatives Tracey Mann (R-KS), Jake LaTurner (R-KS), Ron Estes (R-KS), August Pfluger (R-TX), Stephanie Bice (R-OK), Dan Newhouse (R-WA), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Frank Lucas (R-OK), and Tom Cole (R-OK).

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