From the U.S. House Appropriations Committee
Appropriations Committee Adopts Yoder Amendment to Prevent Listing of Lesser Prairie Chicken as Threatened
Washington, D.C. – This afternoon, the House Appropriations Committee voted to add Representative Kevin Yoder’s (R-KS) amendment to prevent the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a “threatened” or “endangered” species to the 2017 Interior and Environment Appropriations Act.
In March 2014, the United States Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) listed the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a threatened species, citing the bird’s population decline. With approximately half of the Lesser Prairie Chicken population residing in Kansas, the listing had led to the disruption of oil and gas exploration, abandonment of wind energy projects, and increased costs to Kansas farmers and ranchers.
In September 2015, in part after the efforts of Representative Yoder during consideration of last year’s Interior Appropriations Bill, the listing was vacated by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. Last month, the Department of Justice announced it had dropped its appeal of the court’s ruling, effectively halting the Administration’s efforts on the issue.
“As I said when the Justice Department announced it was dropping its appeal, I remain skeptical that was the end of the road,” Yoder said. “The Lesser Prairie Chicken’s listing as a threatened species stunted economic growth in Kansas for little to no benefit. It was a misguided effort to save a bird that already saw its population increase over the last few years due to local efforts. My amendment today simply maintains the new status quo, preventing the Administration from reopening its efforts and protecting farmers and ranchers from unwanted government overreach.”