To the editor:
For once, I agree with Secretary Kobach. His statement “This is a fight worth fighting” isn’t really about the big bad feds vs. our freedom-loving lawmakers, it is about Tympanuchus Cupido fighting for its survival. The Eastern subspecies, Heath Hen, is extinct. The southern subspecies, Attwater’s Prairie Chicken, is close to extinction. The Lesser Prairie Chicken is officially endangered, and the Greater Prairie Chicken, local to Douglas County, is not far behind.
What we need is a concerted species restoration program to save this bird from extinction. The Lesser Prairie Chicken and the Greater Prairie Chicken are non-migratory species that are native to the grasslands of Kansas. Members of such species that exist in the state live their entire lives within the borders of Kansas. For a lot of reasons this beautiful bird could be the state bird of Kansas.
Prairie chickens are very territorial and are not good at repopulating areas thatthey have been shot out of or forced out by loss of habitat. The restoration program would cost much less money than the impending legal fight and might just give our wily friend a fighting chance to survive. If Mr. Kobach comes up with a better protection and repopulation plan than the federal government, then I will support his efforts. Mr. Kobach has made a career out of beating up poor and underserved populations. This little grouse will prove more than a match for him. You can help.