Prairie chicken meeting produces fowl comments

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s proposal to list the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened generated lots of concerns Thursday.

The ‘scoping meeting’ in Morton was one of three being held. The other two were in  Kansas and Oklahoma.

Allison Arnold, a special projects coordinator with the USFWS, said the meeting was designed to gain input from landowners on issues affecting them as part of an Environmental Impact Statement.

Information from landowners will be used to prepare a draft of the EIS this month. It will be used to analyze the potential impacts of the Stakeholder Conservation Strategy for the chickens.

‘This is a permitting process,’ Arnold said. ‘This is question and answers.’
There were plenty of questions.

Jay Adams asked what the government would do if he wanted to put 100 acres of land into peanuts but was told by USFWS that he couldn’t.

‘How much are you going to pay me?’ Adams asked.

Arnold said the government wouldn’t pay him anything.

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