Letters to the Editor

Letter: Chicken fight

January 27, 2014


Congratulations may finally be in order for Kansas’ illustrious Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, who is declaring all-out war on the lesser prairie chicken of Kansas, in what Kobach personally describes as a “fight worth fighting for.” (Journal-World, Jan. 24). Once again, old Kris (at Kansas taxpayes’ expense) is picking a fight against the federal government, in his fight against protecting an endangered species. Kobach envisions his battle as “holding a club in the background…”  Yeah … right!

Apparently this legal action will appeal to Kobach’s dominant constituency of “Duck Dynasty” followers and other right-wing extremists in the Kansas Legislature who feel this action is a primary re-election issue. Kobach is an attorney who apparently thinks he can run up all his legal expenses at will and at taxpayer expense, as his unashamed attempt for publicity and to further his political career.

This just might be one Kobach can win, after all the lesser prairie chicken doesn’t have the power of the Kansas Legislature, the Koch brothers, Sam Brownback and the Republican big money behind its efforts not to become extinct. If this isn’t the dumbest waste of time and taxpayer dollars — this battle against a helpless little bird who is trying to scratch out a living on the prairie — I don’t know what is! And what does it say about the Kansas voters who put Kobach in office? To me, as a voter, it speaks volumes — about all of us!


4 years, 3 months ago

It is a shame when the dislike for a politician takes precedent over the facts and it is a clear sign to me that most Americans have reached the peak of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

The Listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken in fact, is to the Kansas, Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico farming community what the spotted owl was to the lumber industry in the North West years ago and deserves to be considered on its own merit not as a project of a liked or dislike elected official.

Preserving habitat for the Lesser Prairie Chicken can be done without destroying the economics of the Ag families in central and western Kansas, but NOT by the plans put forth by the USFWS or WAFWA. Neither does taking away private property FOREVER through the use of Conservation Easements which reduce the land value...often to nothing...and prevents our children from enjoying any birthright, rather than preserving them.

I think the people in the city have forgotten that the Kansas economy is driven by property taxes and without the farm and farm income, everyone suffers. When we are being asked to harvest crops from the "inside out" of a field, eliminating the use of ATV's and other cost effective equipment...take heed hunters... (Federal Register Vol. 78, No 238 page 75306) or being charged a $38,000 permit fee to build a house/barn on our own property, then someone doesn't understand where the money to run the state comes from.

If you think that is bad, how about a $27,000/mile fee of LOCAL TAX Dollars to build a road to that same house or for a rancher to build a road to his stock water wells. Transmissions lines will cost and extra $870,000/mile to the city and local lines will be near $30,000/mile and we all know who will pay for that especially members of Rural Electric Coops. (Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agency...Webinr April 2013 and pages 91 - 302 http://www.wafwa.org/documents/2013LPCCompleteRWPsmall.pdf

More over, the money isn't going to USFWS, or ANY government agency at all. It is going to the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies which includes two non-American members and at a fee of 12% interest for administration. This doesn't count the cost of enforcement which apparently will come partly through NRCS and may involve the use of cameras on private/public land to monitor progress.

DC is involved, not because they know what they are doing, but because they were sued by an environmental group and without following the laws of NEPA and EPA which require the study of economic impact on the people effected, they have devised a plan without regard to humans.

Check the facts. Conservation is one thing, destroying our Ag economy is quite another. If one hasn't read the proposal you need to before you speak.

Nikki Schwerdfeger Coolidge, KS 67836

Julius Nolan 4 years, 3 months ago

Nice cut & paste Nikki, from other thread. Dislike of Kobach has nothing to do with my feelings about the sheer stupidity, let alone legal cost this law will entail defending it in court.

4 years, 3 months ago

Why waste technology Julius? I agree with the waste of legal costs....so why would you want to waste all those dollars making and enforcing rules that can be handled for less cost by local government without the USFWS. I really don't think you understand the issue. Everything costs something either up front on after the fact and I wish you would see the waste caused by other endangered species projects that are not always in the best interest of the animals being protected.

4 years, 3 months ago

Perhaps "many" rather than "most" is a better choice of words. Too many Americans are just trying to feed and cloth their families and they can't afford foolish/ineffective rules and regulations. :>)

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 3 months ago

Curtis, I see you listed all of the allies of Atty. General Kobach that have lined up against the Lesser Prairie Chicken. Poor bird, but let's examine who is on the bird's side. Barack Obama, the Justice Department, IRS, EPA, George Soros, Bill Gates, Michael Moore, most of Hollywood. You see, I can list as many supporters of the left as you can for the right.

Oh, by the way, they taste like chicken you know.

Cille King 4 years, 3 months ago

"Atty. General Kobach"

Yes, our Sec. of State Kobach is acting like an Atty. General.

Julius Nolan 4 years, 3 months ago

Actually he wants to be the assistant dictator under brownback

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 3 months ago

You are absolutely correct, Cille! That was my boneheaded mistake. I stand corrected, he is Secy. Kobach.

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago

My understanding is that the Federal Government is using the 10 Amendment as their justification for regulating this bird. Now since this bird spends its whole life in Kansas, the 10th Amendment does not apply. There may be other arguments for wanting to save this cute little bird, but not this one.

Kansas lawmakers will consider a bill to keep that from happening, setting up a possible game of chicken between Topeka and D.C.

Committees can introduce legislation in Kansas. On Jan. 16, the Senate Committee on Federal and State Affairs introduced SB276. The House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources introduced an identical measure (HB2499) the following week. The legislation builds upon a Tenth Amendment argument asserting the federal government has no constitutional grounds to regulate the birds.


Julius Nolan 4 years, 3 months ago

The range of this bird covers parts of 5 states. So how can you state that this bird spends its whole life in Kansas?

Leslie Swearingen 4 years, 3 months ago


I did not state that. Whoever wrote the article that I linked to wrote that. I was simply supplying a source of information. Obviously they are wrong.

Thank you for your comment. You are right.

4 years, 3 months ago

They are found in many states, but they don't "migrate" annually back and forth from state to state..

Phillip Chappuie 4 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Kobach has no business in this endeavor. Grandstanding? Yup, anything to get his name in the paper.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 3 months ago

The Insane Klown Posse. They all need new masks as the game is getting old.

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