Kansas pushes back on threatened bird

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) _ Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback is pushing the federal government
to assume some costs for protecting the lesser prairie chicken by expanding
incentives for farmers to enroll their land in a longstanding conservation
program.

Brownback also said Tuesday that Kansas will return to federal court this week
to seek additional time for farmers, ranchers and oil and natural gas producers
to respond to the federal government's decision in March to list the bird as
threatened.

The Republican governor scheduled a news conference Tuesday in Wichita to
discuss new actions by the state and outlined them in an interview with The
Associated Press beforehand.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contends the listing is justified by a steep
decline in the bird's numbers in recent years.

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