Posted by Matt Dempsey

Oklahomans Tell Obama Administration Official: Listing May Endanger State Economy

Inhofe Hosts Forums in Oklahoma on Lesser Prairie Chicken


Audio of Woodard Forum From Oklahoma Farm Report

Follow on Twitter: Oklahoma Farm Report Ron Hays @Ron_on_RON

AP: Okla. senator hosting forum on prairie chickens - EDMOND, Okla. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is to host a forum on whether the lesser prairie chicken should be categorized as an endangered or threatened species.Inhofe is the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. The forum will be Thursday at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

Woodward News: Listing may danger state economy - Woodward, Okla. - Several state leaders believe the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as an endangered species would endanger the state's economy as well. Some local landowners feel their rights as property owners may be threatened too.  These state leaders, landowners as well as other political figures and businessmen  shared their concerns during a public forum hosted by U. S. Sen. Jim Inhofe's office at High Plains Technology Center Wednesday evening. Understanding a desire to protect the birds, some landowners suggested less drastic measures to improve lesser prairie chicken populations other than a listing on the endangered species list, which would bring restrictions and regulations that would affect everyone from farmers to wind developers to construction crews repairing Oklahoma roads.

Oklahoma Farm Report: Public Forum Serves Up Lesser Prairie Chicken in Woodward - Several key themes emerged as the meeting unfolded on Wednesday night- including: Agriculture, wind farm interests and oil and gas companies agree- listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken would be devastating to the five state region. The Director of the Federal Govt agency involved- Dan Ashe with the Fish and Wildlife Service- downplayed the impact. Dan Ashe says he heard the fears of a listing in the room of a listing- believes conservation agreements will help alleviate those fears. He promises that the FWS will provide "clarity" as the process moves forward. The Forum proved there are a lot more questions about the process and who and what will be impacted than there are answers. The State of Oklahoma has a plan- and is asking the Feds for two years to give it a chance to work as efforts being made to get the tempermental little bird to multiply. In response, Ashe called the Oklahoma proposal a "good faith effort" but added that once the process gets underway- he has to follow a timeline that is mandated within the law or he and the FWS could face court action by environmental activists.