Mar 28, 2014

Washington, DC (March 27, 2014) – Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced their decision to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.  U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce responded with the following statement:

“I am extremely dissatisfied by FWS’s decision today. Existing cooperative conservation efforts between private industry, state officials, landowners and the federal government are more than adequate to protect this species. FWS endorsed one of the plans that has enrolled millions of acres of LPC habitat and millions of dollars for habitat remediation.   FWS’s actions today not only derail the incredible efforts, but also deny a future template for joint conservation efforts. Director Ashe and Washington Bureaucrats have failed once again to take steps towards a meaningful conservation strategy that does not jeopardize the economic stability of western communities.”

The listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken today by the FWS eradicates months of progress made in ensuring the conservation of the species without Government involvement.  Current conservation efforts, carried out by private industry, have added nearly 4 million acres of habitat and $26 million for on-the-ground efforts to preserve the species.   The decision threatens the well-being of western communities by discontinuing successful conservation efforts that have adequately demonstrated that preservation can be achieved without hindering economic development.  A copy of the final rule can be read here.