- Associated Press - Friday, June 19, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A U.S. Senate committee has approved an amendment that prohibits a federal agency from enforcing protections for a rare grouse.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1GaKns3 ) the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved the amendment to a $30 billion appropriations measure. The amendment by Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran bars the use of funds to enforce the threatened species listing of the lesser prairie chicken.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says the “threatened” listing for the lesser prairie chicken is needed because of steep declines in the bird’s populations. The birds are found in Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Opponents of the threatened listing say it leads to unfair fees and restrictions on farmers, ranchers and oil companies.

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Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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