Attorney General Gentner Drummond Pushing Back on Biden Administration Over Lesser Prairie Chicken

Sun, 05 Feb 2023 14:39:59 CST

Attorney General Gentner Drummond Pushing Back on Biden Administration Over Lesser Prairie Chicken

Ron Hays talks Lesser Prairie Chicken litigation with Oklahoma AG Gentner Drummond

Attorney General Gentner Drummond announced Friday his intent to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration if it does not withdraw a rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFW) that designates the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

The rule, which is scheduled to take effect March 27, would place burdensome restrictions on Oklahoma ranchers needing to graze livestock, as well as unnecessarily impede development of energy pipelines, oil drilling, wind farms, and roads.

Oklahoma Farm Report’s Ron Hays talked with AG Drummond about the litigation- which will be filed in cooperation with Attorney Generals from the other states impacted by the ruling.

“This is yet another example of federal overreach by the Biden administration,” Drummond said. “Environmental activists wielding the authority of the federal government can have disastrous consequences for farmers, ranchers and energy producers. As a fifth-generation cattle rancher, I am committed to protecting our way of life, which feeds our state and nation with minimal environmental impact.”

In the Feb. 2 letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and USFW Director Martha Williams, Drummond noted that the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) has worked closely with federal agencies, industry leaders, private landowners, conservation groups and other stakeholders to protect the lesser prairie chicken and its habitat.

The letter provides a 60-day notice of the intent to file litigation for failing to follow Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act with regard to the Final Rule the USFW issued Nov. 25, 2022.

Drummond expressed his appreciation for the three major ag groups have quickly voiced their support for his efforts. Oklahoma Farm Bureau, American Farmers & Ranchers and the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association have all issued their thanks to the Attorney General for his expected legal action.

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