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State Legislature Takes Steps To Challenge Federal Government Over Lesser Prairie Chicken Protection

Kansas legislative negotiators are considering a proposal to challenge the federal government listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

Three senators and three House members are meeting today to draft a compromise on a bill; it declares the federal government has no authority to regulate prairie chickens in Kansas.

The Senate wants to make it a felony for a federal employee to regulate the lesser prairie chicken or the larger and darker greater prairie chicken.

The House wants to allow the attorney general to file lawsuits to block enforcement actions.

The compromise from Senate Republicans calls for fining federal employees up to $1,000.

A steep decline in the lesser prairie chicken population led the federal government to list it as threatened in March.