Manhattan, Kansas – Pheasants Forever is helping to publicize a meeting for landowners interested in learning more about the potential listing of the lesser prairie-chicken (LPC) as a threatened or endangered species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). This issue has been on the minds of western Kansas landowners for the last two years. A final decision is expected from USFWS in September of this year, but there is still plenty of uncertainty about what that ruling will mean for area producers. This uncertainty causes many concerns for land managers. In order to address some of those, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) and Kansas State Research and Extension (KSRE) are hosting a webinar to ensure that landowners have a venue to voice their questions and concerns. The webinar is scheduled for April 30, 2013 at 7 pm. Speakers from KDWPT, Farm Service Agency, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service will provide updated information.
Topics that will be discussed include background on the LPC listing process and state planning efforts, goals of the plan, and a information about KDWPT’s revised LPC Focal Areas. Attendees will receive detailed information on the conservation value of land within the Focal Areas and how voluntary offset payments will be allocated to cooperating landowners. Federal and State conservation agency representative will also provide information on programs they offer specifically designed to improve habitat for LPC and the added regulatory certainty that program enrollment can provide.
Webinars are meetings conducted over the internet that allow those with high speed internet access to connect with the host’s website and then view/listen to the speakers’ information. Listeners are given opportunities to ask questions or make comments to the speakers through the internet connection. To ensure that all interested parties can access the webinar, 17 satellite sites around the state have been announced that will have computers and Extension staff available to connect to the webinar and allow communication with the speakers who will be hosting the meeting from Manhattan, Kansas. Locally, satellite sites will be provided in Pratt (KDWPT Office, 515 East 25th) and Greensburg (Kiowa County Commons Conference Room, 320 S. Main, Suite 110). Additional sites can be found on KSRE’s lesser prairie chicken website (http://www.ksre.ksu.edu/news/story/webinar_prairiechickens041913.aspx). For more information, please contact your local county Extension Agent, Extension Wildlife Specialist Charlie Lee ([email protected] or 785-532-5734), or Zac Eddy ([email protected] or 620-338-7132).
Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail, and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education, and land management policies and programs. There are more than 600 Pheasants Forever chapters across the U.S. and Canada, accounting for over 120,000 current members, and more than 100 Quail Forever chapters in the U.S. accounting for over 6,000 members. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever members are a diversified group of hunters, non-hunters, farmers, ranchers, landowners, conservation enthusiasts, and wildlife officials. The organization is for those who want to make a difference for wildlife by creating habitat, restoring wetlands, and protecting prairies.
Pheasants Forever Farm Bill Wildlife Biologists are specialized consultants in conservation programs and habitat planning. The purpose of Farm Bill wildlife biologists is to assist landowners in designing, developing, and funding habitat improvements on private lands. Farm Bill biologists possess the knowledge of federal, state, and local programs to assist landowners in finding the right program to meet their personal habitat and land use goals. Through a unique partnership, Farm Bill biologists are located in local USDA service centers in priority habitat areas throughout the pheasant range.