Kansas Closer To Fighting Feds

The Kansas Senate is pushing the state toward a confrontation with the federal government over protecting greater and lesser prairie chickens.

The Senate gave first-round approval Tuesday to a bill declaring that the federal government has no authority to set policies on prairie chickens or any activities that affect the birds’ habitat.

The Senate planned to take final action Wednesday, when passage would send the measure to the House.

State Wildlife Parks and Tourism Secretary Robin Jennison has said he expects the federal government to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species or to impose a conservation plan. Western Kansas lawmakers and farmers worry they’ll face extra costs and new land-use restrictions.

But some lawmakers question whether Kansas can block federal action.