The head of the US Fish and Wildlife Service is blaming human activity- especially oil,gas, and ranching- for the decline in prairie chickens. But wait a minute…why is it that the biologists quoted by the AP point out what is really to blame: predators.
Politico’s Morning Energy– WHAT’S THE MATTER, COLONEL SANDURZ? CHICKEN? Via the AP:
“The Obama administration said Thursday it is placing a grassland grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species, a move that could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in five central and southwestern states. The decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service is a step below ‘endangered’ status and allows for more flexibility in how protections for the bird will be carried out under the Endangered Species Act. … The prairie chicken, a type of grouse known for its colorful neck plume and stout build, has lost more than 80 percent of its traditional habitat, mostly because of human activity such as oil and gas drilling, ranching and construction of power lines and wind turbines, [Fish and Wildlife Director Dan] Ashe said.” AP: http://bit.ly/1jbeKWB
AP via ABC News: Feds List Lesser Prairie Chicken as Threatened
The Obama administration said Thursday it is placing a grassland grouse known as the lesser prairie chicken on a list of threatened species, a move that could affect oil and gas drilling, wind farms and other activities in five central and southwestern states.
Dan Ashe, the agency’s director, said he knows the decision will be unpopular with governors in the five affected states — Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico — but said the agency was following the best science available.
Biologists say a major problem is that prairie chickens fear tall structures, where predators such as hawks can perch and spot them. Wind turbines, electricity transmission towers and drilling rigs are generally the tallest objects on the plains.
So when you break it all down, the problem with the prairie chicken comes down to the same problem with the sage grouse in Montana- predators are having an impact. But instead of dealing with predators, federal officials are looking to once again limit economic opportunities in the American West.
J. C. Kantorowicz – Great Falls
Saturday, March 29, 2014 9:28 AM
USFWS is a prime example of a bureaucracy out of control. With extremist environmentalists at the helm and NO congressional oversight, it is one species after another used as ammunition against human habitation and industry.
Lord knows Congress will never get rid of the Endangered Species Act. However, somehow the purse strings must be cut and these “wildlife biologists” must be forced to join the unemployment rolls.
You would not believe how the USFWS wastes money and intimidates its agricultural neighbors here north of Great Falls at Benton Lake Nat’l Wildlife Refuge.