Purchase photos

Final prairie chicken meeting upcoming

4/26/2013

By MIKE CORN

By MIKE CORN

mcorn@dailynews.net

Online and in a number of Extension offices across the western half of Kansas, a webinar on a five-state plan to conserve the lesser prairie chicken has been set for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The conservation plan is designed to prevent the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to forego listing the birds as threatened and placing them on the endangered species list.

The third and nearly final version of the plan -- put together by Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado -- has been turned over to the FWS for its consideration.

Despite that, comments on the five-state plan still are being taken and the federal wildlife agency is scheduled to reopen the federal comment period to accept comments on the proposal to list the bird as threatened as well as the five-state plan.

The reopening of the comment period hasn't been announced yet.

At the webinar, a series of speakers from the Kansas Department of Widllife, Parks and Tourism, Kansas State University, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service will talk about the proposal, the state's planning efforts, the goals of the plan the priority areas that have been targeted as crucial to the survival of the lesser prairie chicken.

Detailed information on the conservation value of land and allocation of offset payments to landowners will be provided.

The webinar is an Internet connection allowing participants to listen in and ask questions or make comments.

There will be 17 viewing sites for the webinar.

Area sites and contacts for each site include:

* Logan County -- Courthouse basement meeting room, Oakley, Kan. Julie Niehage, (785) 671-3245.

* Ness County -- Ness County 4-H Building, Ness City. Chris Long, (785) 798-3921.

* Scott County -- William Carpenter Building, Scott City. John Beckman, (620) 872-2930.

* Sherman County -- Sherman County 4-H Building, Goodland. Dana Belshe, (785) 890-4880.

* Trego County -- Wakeeney Public Library. Ashley Conness, (785) 743-6361.