Lesser Prairie Chicken

12:35 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Kansas House Committee Advances Prairie Chicken Bill

A mounted pair of lesser prairie chickens on display in the Kansas Statehouse.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A Kansas House committee has advanced a bill aimed at bucking federal regulation of the lesser prairie chicken. It was announced last week that the federal government would list the bird as a threatened species.

The bill says federal rules and policies surrounding the lesser prairie chicken have no effect in Kansas.

Washington Republican Sharon Schwartz is chairwoman of the Kansas House Ag Committee. She says the bill makes a statement. Schwartz says state and regional conservation plans would be better than federal regulation, which could hurt industry.

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7:11 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Gov. Brownback: Federal Protection Of Lesser Prairie Chicken Is An 'Overreach'

Governor Sam Brownback criticized the federal government's decision Thursday to add the lesser prairie chicken to its list of threatened species.

Brownback called it an "overreach," and his spokeswoman says his office is considering a lawsuit.

Governor Brownback and others are worried how the protections for the prairie chicken could affect agriculture, oil and gas drilling, wind farms, and other businesses.

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9:37 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Landowners To Receive Legal Protection For Preserving Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat

The federal government is offering legal protections for landowners who help protect the lesser prairie chicken.

The protections should ease land-owner and energy industry concerns that they would not be able to operate in the bird's habitat if the prairie grouse is listed as a threatened species.

Those who take steps to preserve habitat will receive a letter guaranteeing they will not be fined or prosecuted if lesser prairie chickens are found dead on their property.

The decision would affect the plains of Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Oklahoma.

9:29 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Kobach Backs Bill To Exclude Lesser Prairie Chicken From Federal Protection

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is backing a bill that would exclude the lesser prairie chicken from federal protection.

Kobach told the Senate Natural Resources Committee on Thursday that the bill would likely lead to a legal battle that pits state rights against federal law.

Lesser Prairie Chicken
5:50 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Hunting Season For Rare Bird Opens

Hunting season opens Nov. 16 in Kansas for a rare game bird that's being considered for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

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5:25 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Top Morning News 01.04.13

 Largest wind farm in Kansas now operational; Study finds racial disparities persist in state juvenile system; Senator Roberts no longer on ag panel; Lesser prairie chicken listed as threatened by federal agency.

States Largest Wind Farm Now Operational

The largest wind farm ever built in Kansas is now fully operational.

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8:12 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Kansas Bird Could Be Added To Endangered Species List

The Lesser-Prairie Chicken poking around.
USDAgov Flickr

There’s a possibility that a Kansas bird, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken, could be added to the federal threatened or endangered species list.

K-State wildlife specialist Charlie Lee says that while the animal is doing pretty well in Kansas, that’s not the case elsewhere.

“In other states the Lesser Prairie-Chicken is on a fairly steep decline in numbers as well as area that is occupied,” says Lee.

Unfriendly habitat for the grouse includes areas that are no longer used for farming and places with wind turbines and oil and gas wells.