Kansas pushes back on threatened bird

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

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is pushing the federal government to assume some costs for protecting the lesser prairie chicken by expanding incentives for farmers to enroll their land in a longstanding conservation program.

Brownback also said Tuesday that Kansas will return to federal court this week to seek additional time for farmers, ranchers and oil and natural gas producers to respond to the federal government’s decision in March to list the bird as threatened.

The Republican governor scheduled a news conference Tuesday in Wichita to discuss new actions by the state and outlined them in an interview with The Associated Press beforehand.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contends the listing is justified by a steep decline in the bird’s numbers in recent years.

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