Appeals court dismisses challenge to Kansas plan to protect prairie chicken


A fight over a conservation plan by the state of Kansas to protect  lesser prairie-chicken has resulted in a Denver Federal Appeals Court ruling against the environmental group called the Kansas Natural Resource Coalition.

In a ruling this week, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed the challenge of the KNRC stating a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The environmental group had challenged the rules proposed in Kansas claiming the Department of Interior had to submit the rules to Congress under the Congressional Review Act.

“We further decline to remand the case so that KNRC may amend its complaint because, in any event, the district court is correct that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction,” ruled the appeals court.

The group’s lawsuit stems from the Department of Interior’s proposal in 2012 to list the lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The KNRC contends a Policy for Evaluation of Conservation Efforts rule drawn up by the Interior Department was never approved by Congress and filed suit.

Click here to view the ruling.