The Lesser Prairie Chicken has been a thriving neighbor to U.S. military bases and energy industry operations across the Southwest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week acknowledged the success of conservation efforts and the birds’ tenacity, deciding to not pursue relisting it as a threatened species.
“This has long been an effort by Members of Congress from Oklahoma. I’m glad the USFWS has received the message,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine.
Bridenstine led the effort last week amending the FY17 National Defense Authorization Act to prevent re-listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken for five years.
In that debate he said, “With my amendment to the NDAA, we can ensure the various state and private conservation plans have time to work. Re-listing the LPC would impact military readiness by impeding operations and expansions at the seven military bases within the species’ historic range.”
Congressman Bridenstine applauded Senator Inhofe for this success.”Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) president Richard Thorpe said, “I am pleased the administration decided to drop their appeal of the 2015 federal district court decision that removed the lesser prairie-chicken from the threatened list,” said Thorpe.
“This means the chicken is no longer federally protected under the endangered species act, providing major relief for ranchers who have long worried about the additional layer of federal regulations that came along with the listing of the LPC.