AUSTIN, Texas (KETK) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has announced his intent to sue the Biden Administration over a new rule about the Lesser Prairie-Chicken.
According to a press release, Paxton’s lawsuit is challenging the Lesser Prairie-Chicken’s new designation as “Endangered” in the south part of its range and “Threatened” in the north part. Paxton claims that these changes burden property owners in Texas by forcing them to comply with “onerous new regulations” when Lesser Prairie-Chickens are found on their land.
Paxton also claims that these new rules were made without considering the human impact and the potential impact on already existing conservation efforts being undertaken by Texas, other states, businesses, landowners and conservation groups.
According to Paxton, federal agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior are required by the National Environmental Policy Act to conduct an impact analysis if their actions affect human quality of life.
“I will not tolerate the Biden Administration’s efforts to run roughshod over the property rights of Texans and to stop our conservation efforts aimed at protecting Texas wildlife,” Paxton said. “This rule was a targeted attempt to implement an unlawful, top-down federal approach aimed at advancing a radical environmentalist agenda, which would crush the type of economic development that aids in providing funds for conservation. This isn’t going to fly in Texas.”
Fox News reported that Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach has also made a similar announcement about intending to sue the Biden Administration because of this rule.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has delayed the final listing of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken from Jan. 24 to March 27. According to TPWD, this means that landowners will have time to enroll in a conservation program that will protect them from what Paxton called “onerous” regulations.