Despite scientific recommendations against it, a Kansas commission voted to remove a snake species from the state’s threatened species list.
The Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission voted unanimously Thursday to remove the redbelly snake from the list. The vote came after developers in northeast Kansas complained the species’ threatened status had caused costly delays in development projects.
State lawmakers threatened during the last session to remove the species themselves, or to end the state’s threatened and endangered species program.
Robin Jennison, Wildlife and Parks secretary, said he feared lawmakers would impose more limitations on his department if the snake was not removed from the list.
The snake will be considered a “species in need of conservation,” which provides little protection from habitat destruction.