OKLAHOMA CITY (KAMR/KCIT) — Today, Oklahoma Senator James Lankford and Kansas Senator Roger Marshall along with nine of their colleagues requested in a letter, a delay to the final rule listing of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LPC) under the Endangered Species Act.

According to a press release from Lankford’s office, members suggested April 1 as the new deadline which is before the primary nesting season of the bird.

Officials said if this letter request is not granted the rule will become effective on Jan. 24, which could end the ability for industry stakeholders to adjust their operations and finalize voluntary efforts to conserve the bird.

In their letter, the Members wrote in part, “First and foremost, we believe the Service should promote voluntary conservation work that has proven successful at conserving the bird and not list the LPC whatsoever. Given the decades-long history of private lands conservation in coordination with the Service and state partners, we believe listing the LPC undermines private property rights and will discourage critical conservation efforts on private lands. Let us be clear, while we strongly urge the Service to revoke the listing, at minimum it is necessary to delay the effective date for involved parties to effectively comply with the rule. An extension of the effective date will give industry stakeholders more time to participate in or expand voluntary conservation prior to the primary nesting season of the LPC and give ranchers time to comply with the new 4(d) rule for grazing activities or establish Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances (CCAA).”

To read the full letter visit, here.