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US Won't Appeal Court Rulings on Lesser Prairie Chicken

(Photo credit: Tony Ifland, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The U.S. government won't appeal recent court rulings that stripped the lesser prairie chicken of federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. The Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday that the Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss its appeal of rulings in Texas. The rulings found that Fish and Wildlife failed to make a proper evaluation of a multi-state conservation plan when it listed the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. Fish and Wildlife says that despite dropping the appeal, it "intends to reassess the status of the species based on the court's ruling and the best available scientific data." Oil and gas corporations opposed the listing, saying it would cost the industry millions of dollars. The lesser prairie chicken lives in Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado.

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