The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) will conduct a public meeting in Garden City on Thursday, February 7, 2013 to gather public comments on the proposed listing of the lesser prairie chicken. The meeting will be conducted at Garden City Community College, 801 N. Campus Drive, and will begin at 6:30 p.m.

In November, the USFWS announced it was initiating a process to consider whether the lesser prairie chicken should be recognized as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act based on scientific evidence that the species and its habitat are in decline. The USFWS will make a final determination on whether to add the lesser prairie chicken to the list based on the best available science. Members of the public and scientific community are encouraged to review and comment on the proposal during the 90-day public comment period.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is participating in a five-state effort to develop a range-wide conservation plan to address the decline of the lesser prairie chicken in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. The conservation plan is intended to benefit the wildlife resources, people, and economies of these states by providing a framework for effective lesser prairie chicken management and habitat improvement that will increase the range-wide population of lesser prairie chickens. The plan will emphasize incentives and tools that encourage landowners to partner with agencies in conservation efforts while achieving their land use needs.

Image courtesy Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism

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