Yesterday, state wildlife management officials presented members of the Congressional Western Caucus with a strong plan to ensure the conservation of lesser prairie-chicken habitat. Both parties committed to continue the dialog and work together to find innovative solutions that benefit the species and ensure economic opportunity.
"The state directors put months of effort into this plan, which balances the need for both conservation and economic growth. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has even come out and endorsed this plan," said Chairman Steve Pearce. "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service needs to understand that there is no need for them to list the lesser prairie-chicken as an endangered species. Our state leaders are proving that they are willing partners when the federal government listens. I look forward to continuing this constructive relationship with our friends at the state and local level to bring about positive, common-sense solutions to save the lesser prairie-chicken and our jobs."
"I'm impressed with this plan, which is the result of unprecedented cooperation between public and private interests across five states," added Congressman Randy Neugebauer. It will successfully safeguard the Lesser Prairie-Chicken while still allowing valuable agricultural and energy production. The Fish and Wildlife Service has endorsed the plan, which was a good first step. Now it's time for FWS to acknowledge that with this plan in place, there is no reason to list the Lesser Prairie-Chicken."
"Industry and landowners alike have been working for months on this issue," said Congressman Mike Conaway. "Hopefully, the Fish and Wildlife service will see that the states and interested parties are getting out in front of the problem and making real conservation efforts that will warrant a not listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken."