Anyone interested in lesser prairie chicken management encouraged to attend
PRATT – The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) has been working with the Lesser Prairie Chicken Interstate Working Group to produce a draft Range-wide Conservation Plan for the Lesser Prairie Chicken. The plan addresses the decline of the lesser prairie chicken in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado and 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. The ultimate goal is to increase the range-wide population of lesser prairie chickens. The draft plan emphasizes incentives and tools that encourage landowners to partner with agencies in conservation efforts while achieving their land use needs.
In December, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a proposal to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species act. A final decision will be made next fall. The Interstate Working Group’s management plan could influence the USFWS’s decision if it can show that lesser prairie chicken populations can be managed at sustainable levels.
Public meetings were held in southwest Kansas in November to gain input from landowners, producers and other stakeholders as the plan was being developed. Now that a draft plan has been assembled, three additional public meetings are scheduled to continue the dialog.
March 5: WaKeeney, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., WaKeeney City Library, 610 Russell Ave.
March 6: Lakin, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Kearny County Library, 101 E. Prairie.
March 7: Greensburg, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Community Center (by fairgrounds), 720 N Bay.
More information about the planning process can be found at the project website: http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/p.