Dole criticizes federal action on prairie chickens

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas political icon Bob Dole says the federal government should not have listed the lesser prairie chicken as threatened.

Dole said Thursday that the listing announced in March is an example of a growing federal government that’s inserting itself into issues that should be left to states.

The 90-year-old Dole is a former U.S. Senate majority leader and the 1996 Republican presidential nominee. He came Thursday to the Statehouse for the kickoff of GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign.

Brownback and other state officials argue that the listing for the lesser prairie chicken could lead to restrictions on farming, ranching an oil and natural gas production.

But federal officials say the designation is justified by a steep decline in the birds’ population.

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