Kansas lawmakers mull new prairie chicken proposal

Lesser Prairie Chicken (KSN File Photo)
Lesser Prairie Chicken (KSN File Photo)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas legislators are close to agreement on a proposal to fine federal employees up to $1,000 if they attempt to enforce a federal listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

House and Senate negotiators worked Thursday on the final version of a bill declaring that the federal government has no authority to regulate prairie chickens in Kansas. An agreement could come later Thursday.

The Senate had wanted to make it a felony for a federal employee to attempt to regulate the lesser prairie chicken or the larger and darker greater prairie chicken.

The House wanted to allow the attorney general to file lawsuits to block enforcement actions.

A steep decline in the lesser prairie chicken population led the federal government to list it as threatened in March.

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