Fish and Wildlife Service reopens comment period for Lesser Prairie Chicken - Odessa American: Local News

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Fish and Wildlife Service reopens comment period for Lesser Prairie Chicken

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2013 4:50 pm

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway (R-11th District) announced Thursday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will reopen the public comment period on the potential listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, according to a release from Conaway’s office.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Daniel Ashe announced the decision in a Feb. 27 letter to Conaway.

Conaway joined eight of his House colleagues earlier this month in asking Ashe for at least a 60-day extension of the comment period and at least a 90-day extension of the final listing deadline for the proposed rule to add the Lesser Prairie Chicken to the Endangered Species Act’s threatened list.

Conaway, chairman of the House Agriculture Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, thanked Ashe for reopening the comments.

“Texas farmers and landowners are rightly concerned about the proposed rule’s impact on their land and their livelihoods,” Conaway said. “I believe there are no better stewards of our nation’s natural resources than those who work and depend on the land. I appreciate the Fish and Wildlife Service’s recognition that it must work with farmers and landowners, and I look forward to hearing the responses gathered when the comment period is reopened.”

The Feb. 7 letter to Director Ashe was also signed by Reps. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas), Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas), Stevan Pearce (R-N.M.), Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas).

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