Kobach wants tough Kansas bill on prairie chickens

(AP Photo/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Jon McRoberts)
(AP Photo/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Jon McRoberts)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Secretary of State Kris Kobach says a Kansas House committee has taken the teeth out of legislation to protest the federal government’s listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

Kobach on Wednesday described the bill as being “gutted.”

The measure still declares that the federal government has no authority to regulate prairie chickens or their habitats in Kansas. But the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee removed a provision making it a felony for a federal employee to attempt to enforce federal laws, regulations or treaties dealing with the bird.

Kobach had a staffer with his re-election campaign tweet to his supporters to contact lawmakers.

State officials worry that the listing will allow the federal government to force landowners to adopt costly conservation practices.

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