Republicans introduce measure to nullify bird’s listing on ESA

High Plains lawmakers are seeking to nullify a regulatory agency’s recent listing of the lesser prairie-chicken on the Endangered Species Act.

Four United States senators and six House members—all Republicans—have introduced a Congressional Review Act as a joint resolution to express their disapproval to strike down the Biden administration’s recent listing as part of a joint statement recently issued. If the resolution is enacted, the measure would prevent the listing from having any force or effect, the lawmakers said.

“The recent listing of the lesser prairie-chicken is terrible for Kansas’ economy but great for the climate activists who have way too much influence over President Biden. Private property in the LPC range might as well be federal lands if this egregious policy goes into effect,” stated Sen. Roger Marshall, a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. “While high inflation is the greatest challenge facing our nation, this listing will increase financial difficulties for the Kansans who raise cattle for your hamburgers and drill oil for your gasoline. This president says lowering costs is a priority, but yet again he is making decisions that will do the exact opposite.”

Kansas Rep. Tracey Mann, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, said the designation was unacceptable and the resolution would prevent action until Congress is consulted.

“At a time when inflation is at a 40-year high 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,” Mann stated. “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.”

Oklahoma Rep. Frank Lucas, a former chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, also voiced his disappointment.

“I am extremely frustrated at the actions of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act,” Lucas stated in his release. “The Fish and Wildlife Service’s listing of the lesser prairie-chicken creates an unnecessary and burdensome layer of regulation on Oklahoma’s agriculture and oil and gas industry, despite strong conservation efforts by farmers, ranchers, and landowners in Oklahoma and other states. In fact, the extensive conservation measures that were developed by states, landowners, and industry stakeholders has benefited the lesser prairie-chicken, and the population of the species has increased by more than 50% since the Fish and Wildlife Service began their process.”

Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran and Oklahoma Sens. Jay Inhofe and James Lankford joined their colleagues as did Kansas Reps. Ron Estes and Jake LaTurner and Oklahoma Reps. Stephanie Bice and Markwayne Mullin.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].