May 26, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) released the below statement after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced a proposal to list two distinct population segments (DPS) of the lesser prairie-chicken under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Northern DPS, found in western Oklahoma and other states, is proposed as threatened with a 4(d) rule that tailors protections. The Southern DPS, found in eastern New Mexico and across the southwest Texas Panhandle, is proposed as endangered.
“Evidence shows that the Lesser Prairie Chicken is thriving, making this proposal to list it as ‘threatened’ in Oklahoma completely unnecessary,” Inhofe said. “It also opens the door to more complicated and burdensome federal regulations. The voluntary public-private conservation partnerships for the LPC and its habitat are working, as evidenced by recent aerial surveys which show the population has doubled since 2013. The Service’s disappointing listing proposal has potential to harm Oklahoma’s job creators, particularly our farmers, ranchers and energy producers. I urge the Service to abandon this erroneous process, especially because the previous listing effort was struck down in federal court in 2015.”
Sen. Inhofe led a letter on May 21, 2021, urging against the Biden administration listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken under the Endangered Species Act.