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Kansas House Panel Approves Prairie Chicken Bill

Associated Press - April 1, 2014 7:10 pm

Governor Sam Brownback says a federal lawsuit by environmental groups over the lesser prairie chicken is an attempt to shut down agriculture and energy production in western Kansas.

Governor Sam Brownback says a federal lawsuit by environmental groups over the lesser prairie chicken is an attempt to shut down agriculture and energy production in western Kansas.

A Kansas House committee has approved a bill declaring that the federal government has no authority to regulate prairie chickens or their habitat in the state.

The measure is a response to the federal government’s listing last week of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

Members of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved the bill on a voice vote Tuesday. Debate in the full House is expected later this week.

The committee jettisoned a section making it a felony for a federal employee to try to enforce any federal regulation, law or treaty on prairie chickens.

Instead, the bill would allow the Kansas attorney general to go to court to block action by federal employees.

The Senate approved the stronger version of the bill in February.

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