Save The Chickens - Forget About The Oil Or The Gas Or The Jobs

Save The Chickens - Forget About The Oil Or The Gas Or The Jobs

By Jeff Wagner. CREATED Mar 28, 2014

On Thursday, the Obama Administration announced that it intended to place the prarie chicken on a list of "threatened species".  This will allow the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service greater latitude to set rules protecting the birds.

So what's the big deal?

It turns out that prarie chickens are afraid of tall structures because predators (like hawks) perch on them.  Tall structures like wind turbines, electricity transmission towers and oil drilling rigs.

Recently, there has been an economic explosion in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Kansas fueled by the energy industry.  These are also the same places where there are a lot of prairie chickens.  

Governors in these States are extremely worried that new protections for the prairie chicken will cripple oil and gas development.  Land owners are concerned that new regulations will limit what they can do with their property.

As for the prairie chicken, the population in these five states has declined to fewer than 18,000 birds.

So, what's more important: prairie chickens or energy independence, family supporting jobs and property rights?

We'll discuss the issue during the 1 p.m. hour of Friday's radio show.  Please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section - and be sure to check back later to hear a replay of the segment.

Jeff Wagner

Jeff Wagner

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Jeff Wagner recently completed his 15th year as a talk show host at 620 WTMJ. Jeff's show, which airs Monday through Friday from noon to 3 p.m., features stories which you might not have heard about elsewhere and emphasizes Jeff's common sense approach to issues.