- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 3, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - The executive director of Audubon of Kansas likes Gov. Sam Brownback’s call for improved federal conservation incentives for farmers to help increase the habitats for the lesser prairie chicken.

Ron Klataske (kluh-TAS’-kee) said Tuesday that increasing the amount of land enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program would help reverse a loss of habitat for the bird.

The federal government has listed the lesser prairie chicken as threatened. Audubon of Kansas has been at odds with the Republican governor over his criticism of the listing.

Brownback sent a letter to federal officials, calling on them to pursue enhanced incentives to encourage more farmers to enroll land in the conservation program. Klataske said it’s a good idea.

Under the program, the federal government pays farmers not to cultivate land.

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