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U.S Fish and Wildlife Service proposes ESA protections for the Lesser Prairie Chicken
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has proposed Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings for the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) for Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Kansas. The proposed listing rule separates the LPC population into two Distinct Population Segments (DPS):
- Northern DPS, to include: southeastern Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, northeast Texas panhandle - would be listed as "threatened" with a supplemental 4(d) rule
- Southern DPS, to include: New Mexico, southwest Texas panhandle - would be listed as "endangered"
The proposed ESA listing undermines the decades of voluntary conservation that has been done and undermines ranchers' confidence in voluntary conservation at a time when ranchers' input is more needed than ever before.
The 60-day public comment period closes on August 2, 2021.