Yesterday, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined U.S. Senator Roger Marshall (R-KS), Congressman Tracey Mann (KS-01), and 8 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Deb Haaland, Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, requesting an extension to delay the final rule that will list the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) under the Endangered Species Act. The Members suggested April 1 be the new deadline, which is before the primary nesting season of the bird. If this request isn’t granted the rule will become effective on January 24, ending the ability for industry stakeholders to adjust their operations and finalize voluntary efforts to conserve the bird.
“First and foremost, we believe the Service should promote voluntary conservation work that has proven successful at conserving the bird and not list the LPC whatsoever. Given the decades-long history of private lands conservation in coordination with the Service and state partners, we believe listing the LPC undermines private property rights and will discourage critical conservation efforts on private lands. Let us be clear, while we strongly urge the Service to revoke the listing, at minimum it is necessary to delay the effective date for involved parties to effectively comply with the rule,” wrote the Members. “An extension of the effective date will give industry stakeholders more time to participate in or expand voluntary conservation prior to the primary nesting season of the LPC and give ranchers time to comply with the new 4(d) rule for grazing activities or establish Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA).”
Read the letter here.
On December 21, 2022, Congressman Lucas, Sens. Marshall, Moran, Inhofe, Lankford, and Representatives Mann, LaTurner, Estes, Mullin, and Bice introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval in their respective chambers to strike down the Biden Administration’s recent listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
On June 15, 2021, Congressman Lucas joined his colleagues in expressing deep concern regarding the U.S. Department of Interior’s actions proposing to list the Lesser Prairie-Chicken under the ESA. “The citizens of our states have long strived to protect wildlife and provide for livestock in the region. This area is still home to some of the most open and rural land in the country today. Pushing forward with relisting the LPC under the Endangered Species Act would adversely impact our constituents and their voluntary conservation efforts,” wrote the lawmakers.
On June 28, 2021, Congressman Lucas and Senator Inhofe led a group of their colleagues in requesting at least a six-month extension to the comment period for the proposed listing of the LPC.