Saturday, July 26, 2014

Senators join fowl fight with feds

By The Herald Staff | 7/9/2014

WASHINGTON — As the squawk over the Kansas lesser prairie chicken continues, two top Sunflower State lawmakers have entered the fray.

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, teamed up this week to introduce an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. The amendment aims to prohibit the U.S. departments of agriculture and interior from altering any land management practices based on the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

WASHINGTON — As the squawk over the Kansas lesser prairie chicken continues, two top Sunflower State lawmakers have entered the fray.

U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, teamed up this week to introduce an amendment to the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. The amendment aims to prohibit the U.S. departments of agriculture and interior from altering any land management practices based on the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

“As conservation efforts for the lesser prairie chicken are considered, farmers and ranchers deserve the flexibility to implement plans that fit their operations,” 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.”

Kansas has seen an increase in population of the animal, Roberts said.

“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,” 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.”

The amendment is co-sponsored by U.S. Sens. Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

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