Lawmakers Want More Info on Lesser Prairie Chicken Listing
Led by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, members of Congress from Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas are asking U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for more information about how the Lesser Prairie Chicken became the focus of possible federal protection.
Lawmakers from the states sent a letter on Monday requesting that Salazar explain why the bird’s priority number underwent a “dramatic shift,” going from 8, which is low, to 2, in December 2008. That was in the last few weeks of former President George W. Bush’s administration.
Some lawmakers are concerned that the prairie chicken will be listed as an endangered or threatened species in September, a move that could eventually severely curtail oil and gas drilling and other activity in the bird’s habitat.
The lawmakers’ letter asked Salazar to provide them the information within two weeks.
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