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Energy and Environment

Kansas Senate Bill Would Restrict Habitat Protections

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Conservationists say protected habitats for endangered and threatened species in Kansas would be sharply reduced under a Senate bill in its second week of hearings.

The measure before the Senate Natural Resources Committee would change the definition of critical habitats and restrict habitat protection to areas where a vulnerable species lives.

Critics say the bill doesn't take into consideration potential territories where the species could migrate. The Sierra Club testified Wednesday that the bill would cut habitat protections by 60 percent.

Farmers and ranchers spoke in favor of the bill last week. The Kansas Farm Bureau says the measure would clarify the Kansas Nongame and Endangers Species Conservation Act.

The committee has not scheduled a debate on the bill.