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Groups ask Congress to de-list lesser prairie chicken

Representatives of Kansas electric cooperatives, utility, oil and gas, wind and telephone united with agriculture on July 7 to send a letter to the Kansas Congressional delegation requesting the de-listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a "threatened" species.
 
The text of the letter is below:
 
July 7, 2015
 
Dear Kansas Congressional Delegation Members:

The undersigned industries and groups met today to discuss our individual efforts to conserve the Lesser Prairie Chicken in response to the Endangered Species Act listing.

It was an important meeting and it demonstrated the need to find a collective solution to our common goal to protect the species while enabling continued economic activity and development in Kansas. Not only does this issue directly affect at least 26 Kansas counties with known habitat, the impact of restricted economic development in one part of Kansas means fewer jobs, lower tax receipts, and reduced agriculture production. Aggressive mitigation plan mandates also divert funds from industry that is needed to keep utility rates low and control other costs to the consumer.

We appreciate the initiative and support of our Kansas Congressional Delegation to address the unforeseen and unintended consequences of the listing. We hope you will continue to support efforts to provide relief from these unfunded mandates and allow voluntary conservation plans and improving habitat conditions a chance to rebuild the Lesser Prairie Chicken population throughout the five-state habitat region.

Bruce Graham
Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc.

Rich Felts
Kansas Farm Bureau

Ed Cross
Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association

Colleen R. Jamison
State Independent Telephone Association of Kansas

Colin Hansen
Kansas Municipal Utilities

Kimberly Svaty
Kansas Wind Coalition

Shane Laws
Victory Electric Cooperative Association, Inc.

Steve Epperson
Pioneer Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Stuart Lowry
Sunflower Electric Power Corporation
Mid-Kansas Electric Company, LLC

Earnest A. Lehman
Midwest Energy, Inc.

Darrin Lynch
Western Cooperative Electric Association, Inc.

Bruce W. Mueller
Wheatland Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Ed Wiltse
Lane-Scott Electric Cooperative, Inc.

Marcus Harris
Kansas Electric Power Cooperative, Inc.

Allan Miller
Prairie Land Electric Cooperative, Inc.

(The above listed individuals, companies and / or organizations approved this letter and agreed to be a signatory to the same)