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PUBLIC INVITED TO COMMENT ON LESSER PRAIRIE CHIICKEN PLAN

PUBLIC INVITED TO COMMENT ON LESSER PRAIRIE CHIICKEN PLAN

October 25, 2012

Public meetings scheduled for comments and input on management plan

PRATT--The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) is participating in a five-state effort to develop a range-wide conservation plan to address the decline of the lesser prairie chicken in Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Colorado. The conservation plan is intended to benefit the wildlife resources, people, and economies of these states by providing a framework for effective lesser prairie chicken management and habitat improvement that will increase the range-wide population of lesser prairie chickens. The plan will emphasize incentives and tools that encourage landowners to partner with agencies in conservation efforts while achieving their land use needs. More information about the planning process can be found at the project website: http://www.ksre.k-state.edu/p.aspx?tabid=275

KDWPT has contracted with the Ecosystem Management Research Institute (www.emri.org) to prepare the lesser prairie chicken conservation plan for Kansas. Planners are now consulting with landowners, stakeholders, the general public, agency managers and scientists in developing the plan. Public input is important.

Public meetings will be held in the southwest Kansas communities listed below on Nov. 13-15, 2012. Planners will present information about lesser prairie chicken population and habitat goals for Kansas and propose areas in the state where conservation efforts will be focused. A primary purpose of each community meeting will be to discuss the best ways to encourage landowners, industry and others to voluntarily partner with state and federal management agencies to improve habitat for lesser prairie chickens, while also achieving their land use and development needs. Draft planning products will be posted on the project website in advance of the meetings.

The public meeting schedule is:

November 13: Ness City, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Ness County Historical Bank Building, 106 W Main (corner Pennsylvania and Main).

November 14: Ulysses, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., 4-H Building at Civic Center Complex, 1000 W Patterson.

November 15: Greensburg, 7 p.m.-9 p.m., Community Center (by fairgrounds), 720 N Bay

Written comments regarding the lesser prairie chicken conservation plan for Kansas are also welcome. Comments will be accepted through Friday, December 14 via email to janc@gci.net or mail to Jan Caulfield, 114 S. Franklin St., Ste. 203, Juneau, AK 99801

To receive updates during the planning process, please email Jan Caulfield at janc@gci.net with your contact information, including name, organization (if applicable), address, phone, and email address.

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