Texas Sure Seems Hellbent on Killing Off the Endangered Prairie Chicken

Categories: Environment

prairiechick.jpg
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Should libtards keep giving government handouts to species that can't acclimate to Texas' business-friendly atmosphere?

Take prairie chickens. They once roamed Texas' prairies and are known for an awesome mating ritual that includes a funny little dance and a "strange, booming sound across a sea of grasses." Those prairies are mostly gone, and the chickens are dying with them. Some politically correct folks want the chickens to be placed on the federal endangered species list.

But that idea is being contested by Texas politicians, who say that dying animals are getting in the way of free enterprise.

On Monday, state Senator Ken Paxton, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Texas attorney general, vowed to fight adding any species to the federal endangered species list in cases where doing so "could adversely impact drilling, farming and other industries."

Attorney General Greg Abbott has also framed the the EPA's endangered species list as another federal government intrusion in the states. He promises that if he becomes governor, he will prioritize Texas' "oil renaissance" over the protections of any endangered animal.

And Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who is now running for lieutenant governor, has been especially blunt. He's not afraid to call out "endangered species" for the sissies that they really are: "critters that probably ought to die anyway."

Patterson reportedly made his remarks at a luncheon in Houston this fall. He was directing his anger at the prairie chickens, lizards and salamanders whose habitats are at an inconvenient spot in West Texas where companies want to drill.

We asked a few conservation groups to weigh in on the validity of Patterson's scientific thesis.

"There aren't any species anywhere that ought to die," says Janice Bezanson, the executive director of the Texas Conservation Alliance.

Andrew Wexler, director of the wildlife conservation program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, tries to argue on behalf of the dying critters by appealing to our selfish desires, things that American humans want. "The vast majority of Americans believe that we need to care for the world, including all the creatures that live in it, and we do so not just for our children's sake but our own sake. Animals and plants often provide incredibly important benefits to people."

To save the prairie chickens, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last week proposed a rule that would seem to please both the anti-federal government folks and people who would like to not kill off other species. Under a draft plan, industries will have to pay landowners who make an effort to save the prairie chicken habitat. In exchange for the funds, the company will be shielded from punishment if it accidentally kills a few birds.

The point of such a compromise is to keep the chickens off of the stricter federal endangered species list without just killing them all outright. "If we can pull this off, I can guarantee it will be an unprecedented attempt to avoid listing this bird," Matt Wagner, deputy director of the wildlife division of Texas Parks and Wildlife, told the Lubbock-Avalanche Journal.

While that sounds nice, the Center for Biological Diversity hascome out swinging against the proposed compromise. Among the conservationist group's concerns: The population goal for prairie chickens and the amount of natural habitat to be preserved is too small, and the rule "offers no reasonable expectation of enforcement to ensure survival and recovery."

Sure, the plan is voluntary, but maybe it will teach the prairie chickens how to negotiate with big business and stand up for themselves, rather than just hiding behind federal authorities when things get tough.

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35 comments
ruddski
ruddski

I have no suggestions for saving this chicken from those big Texas oil spills that have stolen their prairie habitat, but I do have a win-win for the problem caused by endangered bird species attacks on windmills. Collect them as they are knocked from the sky, field dress and enjoy Roast Bald Eagle, or whatever else is not on Americas legal menu. Sell 'em to Ted Nugent, or whomever.

NewsDog
NewsDog

The problem isn't really the driling/fracking, it's the unintentional effects of long term land management altering the enviroment. Same thing happened to quail.

When land owners started to plow under millions of acres of native prairie grasses that the birds nested in and fed on and replaced it with coastal hay, cotton and other crops that offered the birds little to nothing in the way of food or shelter they didn't know the long term effects. 

This  isn't new. Prairie Chicken preservation has been an active issue in Texas since the late '60s early '70s.

And while the enviromentalists wring thier hands in angst they really don't do anything to help. T. Boone Pickens, a man the enviros love to vilify, has personally spent more time, effort and money restoring tens of thousands of acres of Texas prairieland to it's original condition.     

casiepierce
casiepierce

I thought these were already on the endangered list.

pak152
pak152

"To save the prairie chickens, the US Fish and Wildlife Service last week proposed a rule that would seem to make both the anti-federal government folks and people that would like to not kill off other species happy"

nothing more than  a backdoor effort by the current administration to stop the oil and gas industry  in this state. an industry that is fueling the economic recovery, adding monies to the state's treasury and providing jobs.

Besides they've been trying to save the prairie chicken for the past 50 years

Threeboys
Threeboys

Last time I heard of a prairie chicken it consisted of tequila and Tabasco. It hurt like hell. Both ways.

marmy
marmy

You can blame the oil industry. However, wind farms are doing far more indelible habitat destruction in the Central US and Texas than drilling. It's a little ironic that the Federal Gov exempted Duke energy from regulations pertaining the destruction of endangered and protected species recently for killing more that 2000 Golden and Bald Eagles with wind mill blades. Seems it's okay if the government chooses.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

"Executive DDirector of the Texas Conservaion Alliance"

Was Buzz drunk already when you posted this??

Good story, will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

The Attwater's Greater Prairie Chicken is already on both the state and federal Endangered Species list.  The Lesser Prairie-Chicken is the one you are talking about and it is a candidate to be placed on the Federal list.  Texas Parks and Wildlife presently has a Wildlife Management Plan in place and a Lesser Prairie-Chicken Advisory Committee has been formed that works with other states and the federal government to protect the bird.


Fear not.  This chicken is going on the list.


You can go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife site and search "prairie chicken", then read all about it.

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

I think these folks look at this like a Jenga game - Just keep extracting pieces and hope it isn't you with a block in your greasy fingers when the stack (inevitably) tumbles.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

Greed knows no bounds.


I just don't understand the minds of these people.

Seriously.

They worship money above all else.

If it's in the way, just kill it and move on.

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

This is a disgusting attempt by the capitalist environment-killers to make these sweet chickens extinct. 

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ThreeboysI believe that is called a Prairie Fire, definitely not on the endangered species list.

kduble
kduble

@marmy Unlike prairie chickens, eagles are on a successful rebound.

PatrickWilliams
PatrickWilliams moderator

@RTGolden1 I'm not saying you're wrong ... this thing is time stamped well after noon, after all ... but in my defense I don't edit everything that gets posted here.

ruddski
ruddski

For one light eater, or a couple of house cats.

ruddski
ruddski

That would suggest reportage, this is advocacy.

ruddski
ruddski

Being free-range, I doubt this bird is very greasy. In fact, you might want to wrap it in bacon.

ruddski
ruddski

No. It's "kill it, eat it, and move on"

Originally from the plains Indian tribes, later adopted by Ted Nugent.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

If you're going to make billions of dollars sucking natural resources out of the Earth, the least you can do is not kill everything in your path.

Fracking will end up clogging the courts for decades once the lawsuits start from people coming down with who knows what and loss of water etc.

ruddski
ruddski

Cats kill more birds than oil drillers, way, way more. Cats can conduct this wholesale senseless slaughter almost regulation-free, and what's the defense from the heartless cat owning bird haters? My whittle kitty is furry and puffy, LEAVE MY KITTY ALOOOOONE!!!!

Me, me, me, meow, meow, meow. Screw those damn birds, right?

holmantx
holmantx topcommenter

@ruddski  


Texas has has already placed 171 plants, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, invertebrates, fishes and birds on either the Threatened or Endangered list.  The Fed list shows 16 additional native plants, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, invertebrates, fishes and birds on its Candidates For Placement on to the Endangered List.  The Lesser Chicken is one of them.


I suspect Texas hunters are generally for placement.

ruddski
ruddski

Did you see the study that has liberal men as the least-happy measured group?

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ruddskiNot in Copperas Cove, TX.  Those people are serious about their status as a bird sanctuary.  If your cat is seen killing a bird, it is seized (not sure if there is a death penalty for this particular offense) and you are fined rather heavily.  There is no indication if the bird has to be a legal resident bird, or if undocumented migratory birds are covered as well.

ruddski
ruddski

Wow, Texas really is killing Gia's little angels wholesale.

The big problem with the Lesser Chicken is that it really does taste just like chicken.

ruddski
ruddski

I have a recipe for Baby Harp on White Rice with Tomato Sauce that is a big hit with folks at the club.

ruddski
ruddski

You can bet the Fat Cats will not be affected.

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