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KS Governor Decries Prairie Chicken Decision

Brownback(File photo by Stephen Koranda)




NOTE: This story has been updated. A previous version is posted below.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Gov. Sam Brownback says Kansas will join Oklahoma in suing the federal government over the addition of the lesser prairie chicken to its list of threatened species. Brownback announced his state's response Friday during a news conference. Oklahoma sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in federal court last week, challenging the process under which the federal agency was considering the listing. The Kansas governor said there was no need for the federal agency to list the lesser prairie chicken as threatened because five states containing its habitat have developed a conservation plan. The states are Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. The federal agency said in announcing its listing Thursday that there are fewer than 18,000 lesser prairie chickens, down 50 percent from the 2012 population.


TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is criticizing the federal government's decision to place the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species. Brownback on Thursday called the decision an overreach. He said in a statement that he's concerned that the decision will hurt the Kansas economy. Brownback said his administration is looking at possible responses. Spokeswoman Sara Belfry said a lawsuit is among the options under consideration. The decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado and New Mexico. The Kansas Senate last month approved a bill declaring that Kansas has sole control over managing the state's prairie chicken population and its habitat. The measure is pending in the House.

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