TOPEKA — Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach will sue the Biden administration unless the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service withdraws a rule listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. Kobach announced his intention to file a lawsuit in a written notice to management.
“The Biden administration’s listing of this species will have a devastating impact on Kansas ranchers, Kansas oil producers and Kansas wind farms. Plus, it’s illegal,” Kobach said. “Kansas will lead the way in the fight against this overacting by the Biden administration.”
The rule change would require Kansas ranchers to seek permission from the federal government to move a herd of cattle to a new field. It also creates tighter restrictions on pipelines, roads and other developments, including oil drilling.
In his letter, Kobach noted the efforts of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks to work with federal agencies, regional organizations, non-profit organizations and private landowners to conserve the lesser prairie chicken and its habitat. . Their efforts helped stabilize the lesser prairie fowl population and the expansion of its range in Kansas.
Kobach argues that the Biden administration has failed to adequately consider Kansas’ pre-existing and ongoing conservation and mitigation measures. Such efforts include the relationships established by the KDWP and private landowners and their voluntary actions to implement a wide-ranging conservation plan.
As required by law, Kobach sent a letter to US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and US Director of Fisheries and Wildlife Martha Williams giving 60 days notice of intent to file suit for failing to followed Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act regarding the Final Rule of the US Fish and Wildlife Service issued on November 25, 2022.
Kansas is part of the “northern distinct population segment” in which the lesser prairie chicken is to be designated as a threatened species, while birds in the “southern distinct population segment” will be designated as an endangered species. The final rule will go into effect on March 27. If the rule is not withdrawn, Kobach said he will file a case.
A copy of the letter is available at