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Sen. Cornyn Proposes Cutting Funding To U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is using the fight over the Lesser Prairie Chicken as part of his argument to cut funding to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is using the fight over the Lesser Prairie Chicken as part of his argument to cut funding to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Cornyn filed an amendment to the Senate Budget on Thursday that would cut funding being used for determining whether species should be listed on the Endangered Species List.

    Cornyn says that the current process uses "arbitrary decision deadlines."

    Cornyn also says that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is trying to list animals with limited data.

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed that the Lesser Prairie Chicken be listed as threatened.

    While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has extended the public comment period on the potential listing, they still plan on making a decision on the listing in September.

    The Lesser Prairie Chicken has a habitat in the High Plains region which stretches the Permian Basin on up to Western Kansas and Eastern Colorado.

    If the species listed as threatened, federal protections of the habitat could negatively affect wind energy, oil and gas and ranching in the area.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper released a joint statement opposing the proposal to list the species as threatened in January 2013.

    U.S. Representatives Randy Neugebauer and Mike Conaway have also spoken out against the potential listing of the lesser prairie chicken as threatened.
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