WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today released a statement in response to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) announcement that a petition to list the lesser prairie chicken species had substantial information to warrant a Species Status Assessment (SSA) which could lead to an eventual Endangered Species Act listing:
“I am disappointed that the FWS is moving ahead to relist the lesser prairie-chicken,” Inhofe said. “Just last year the Western District of Texas appropriately overturned the lesser prairie-chicken’s previous listing, noting that the Service did not adequately consider the effectiveness of the states’ conservation plans when it assessed the species’ need for federal protection. It is important that we let the multi-state conservation plan have time to work before bringing down the full force of the Endangered Species Act. The ESA should be a last resort and local, cooperative efforts, as seen in Oklahoma and her partner states, could set a precedent for a way to move forward on species conservation without the heavy hand of the federal government. I am confident that the Trump administration is aware that state conservation is sufficient to protect the lesser prairie-chicken and I will work with the new administration to ensure local efforts are given the chance to work.”
On May 11, Sen. Inhofe released a statement praising the decision by the Obama administration to abandon its effort to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) by dropping its appeal of a Texas federal court’s ruling that vacated the listing.
On Sept. 2 2015, Sen. Inhofe praised the action of Federal Judge Robert Junell of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas for overturning the listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) from the Endangered Species Act.