Sen. Marshall, Rep. Mann Renew Bicameral Effort to Halt Lesser Prairie Chicken’s Pending Endangered Status
(Washington, D.C., February 8, 2023) – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. and U.S. Representative Tracy Mann (KS-01) reintroduced their Congressional Review Act Resolution of Disapproval to ensure the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) is prevented from receiving protected status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This bicameral measure follows building momentum in opposition to the ESA listing of the LPC, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced it would delay the listing until late March.
“Placing the lesser prairie-chicken on the endangered species list should not be happening in the first place. Farmers, ranchers, and others in Kansas and the region have been instrumental in the recovery of the species to this point while the climate activists demanding this rule have no understanding of the threat it poses to Kansas’s economy, especially the energy and ag industries. With inflation for food and gas prices still high and volatile, there is no room for destabilizing federal policy like this,” said Senator Marshall. “I will not back down on working towards having this rule eliminated in its entirety, and I encourage Secretary Haaland to permanently halt this listing.”
“I refuse to sit idly by while the United States Fish and Wildlife Service imposes burdensome regulations on producers with no input from Congress,” said Rep. Mann. “The designation of the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species in places like Kansas is unacceptable. This resolution calls for an absolute refusal of this rule, which should have no force or effect until Congress is consulted. At a time when inflation is running rampant and families are struggling to fuel their cars while keeping food on their tables, we should be working to eliminate barriers for the agriculture and energy sectors, not hamstringing hardworking Americans with government overreach. Since this rule threatens the livelihoods of the men and women who feed, fuel, and clothe us all, I hope that all my colleagues in Congress will join me in refusing to accept it.”
In the United States Senate, Senators Jerry Moran (KS), James Lankford (OK), and Markwayne Mullin (OK) are original cosponsors of Senator Marshall’s Congressional Review Act Resolution.
“The decision to list the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act will harm our state’s farmers, ranchers, energy producers and rural communities,” said Senator Moran. “Kansas and surrounding states have invested millions of public and private dollars to conserve the lesser prairie-chicken’s habitat area, resulting in the bird’s population more than doubling. Listing the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened despite these locally-driven efforts eliminates any further similar efforts and will result in less wildlife conservation in the future, not more.”
“The Endangered Species Act, which only has a two percent success rate of species recovery, is being used as a tool for a federal takeover of energy, agriculture, and commerce in Oklahoma instead of species recovery as it was intended,” said Senator Lankford. “For the lesser prairie-chicken, Oklahomans’ voluntary conservation efforts have led to increased population growth and habitat development. But the Fish and Wildlife Service is rewarding that success with new requirements that come with adding the chicken to the endangered species list. This will mean endless federal red tape for land owners, developers, and energy producers anywhere FWS deems the chicken’s habitat. I’m standing against this with our neighbors in Kansas and elsewhere.”
“Radical environmentalists are doing all they can to hinder energy independence and agricultural production in Oklahoma,” Senator Mullin said. “Once again, the federal government is playing its 20-year back-and-forth game, re-listing the LPC as “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act. We do not need the federal government interfering in state business — this is not a one-size-fits-all solution. I am proud to join this resolution and stand up for the farmers, ranchers, and domestic producers in my state.”
U.S. Representatives Frank Lucas (OK-03), Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Ron Estes (KS-03), Stephanie Bice (OK-05), Ronny Jackson (TX-13), Jake LaTurner (KS-02), August Pfluger (TX-11), and Josh Brecheen (OK-02) are original cosponsors of the House version of this Congressional Review Act Resolution.
You may click HERE to read the full text of the Congressional Review Act.
On January 23, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that it extended the effective date of the final rule to list the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act until March 27, 2023. This announcement comes following a letter written by U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. and his Colleagues wrote to the USFWS in December of 2022.
In early January, Senator Marshall led a group of elected officials in 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.
On December 21, 2022, Senators Marshall, Moran, Inhofe, Lankford, along with U.S. Representatives Mann, LaTurner, Estes, Mullin, Lucas, and Bice introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval to strike down the Biden Administration’s listing of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This resolution would prevent the listing from having any effect.
This CRA is part of a multi-pronged approach to halting the lesser prairie-chicken listing that was announced by Senator Marshall, Senator Moran, and Representative Mann last month. You may click HERE to learn more about efforts to stop the lesser prairie-chicken listing under the ESA.
On July 16, 2021, Sens. Marshall and Moran and Rep. Mann led a group of their colleagues in requesting a 90-day extension to the comment period for the proposed listing of the LPC.