OKLAHOMA CITY — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe is asking federal officials to delay for another six months a decision on whether to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.
The letter sent Thursday by Inhofe is supported by fellow Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and a bipartisan group of senators from the other four states that would be affected by the ruling — Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Texas.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe in February agreed to extend the comment period for the proposed threatened listing of the lesser prairie chicken, a stocky, ground-dwelling bird.
Inhofe says the extended comment period resulted in an "influx of significant new public input," and that Ashe should also consider a new five-state conservation proposal to protect the bird.