Federal Notifications –
On November 30, The United State Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a Federal Register notification responding to an ‘Emergency’ Listing Petition by the Wild Earth Guardians (WEG) for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LPC). Using the WEG guardians petition as impetus, USFWS has initiated a species status review of the LPC, a process is time-limited to one year. In it’s regulatory-review checklist, FWS denied the WEG ’emergency’, endangered listing, but instead is soliciting scientific and commercial data.
On December 12, 2016, KNRC published a Bulletin summarizing the species status review of the LPC and our view of the 18-State Critical Habitat Rule litigation, which includes participation by the state of Kansas. On December 27, 2016 KNRC filed with USFWS our request for 90-Day Extension of the comment period, a request which also provided justification for USFWS to open an additional comment period after the spring, 2017 LPC field survey by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA).
In our comment and request letter, KNRC raised the question of how local governments could be expected to provide accurate information and assessments to the public record if we do not have access to the best and latest scientific information.
Comments on the LPC status review are due to the public no later than January 30, 2017.information and scientific data can be submitted at: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=FWS-R2-ES-2016-0133-0001.