Target: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Goal: Place lesser prairie chicken on endangered species list
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is currently debating whether to place the rare lesser prairie chicken on the endangered species list. The bird, a medium-sized, grey-brown grouse, makes its home in the prairie lands of northern Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. In the past decade, development and oil exploration have reduced the bird’s numbers by 84 percent. This decrease caught the attention of wildlife protection organizations, and the USFWS was contacted.
While placing the lesser prairie chicken on the endangered species list seems like the obvious choice, oil and gas companies operating in the bird’s habitat are not pleased about the potential decision. The companies’ leaders, as well as several Republican lawmakers, claim that listing the lesser prairie chicken as endangered will be economically harmful. The companies will not be able to explore for new sources of oil and will have to spend more to ensure the bird’s habitat is not disrupted. These requirements, the companies claim, will cost hundreds of jobs and reduce profits.
Although people need jobs and the economy needs to thrive, it is unlikely that listing the lesser prairie chicken as endangered will be extremely harmful to oil companies. These companies make literally billions of dollars per year, and their CEOs take home millions in personal profits. If listing a small bird as endangered spells ruin for these companies, something is seriously wrong with their business models.
Tell the USFWS to protect the lesser prairie chicken. The bird’s decline demonstrates how the American prairie as a whole is suffering and should not be exploited for the benefit of oil companies.
Dear Fish and Wildlife Service,
The lesser prairie chicken should definitely be placed on the endangered species list. The bird’s numbers have declined rapidly over the last decade and, without protection, they will likely go extinct.
Oil and gas companies will fight hard against the decision. They will claim that jobs will be lost and profits will be lessened if the bird is protected. Please do not listen to their argument. Each year, these companies make billions of dollars and their leaders take home millions in personal profits. If these companies cannot survive once a little bird is listed as endangered, there is something seriously wrong with the way they conduct business.
Please protect the wildlife of the American prairie and place the lesser prairie chicken on the endangered species list. Thank you.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Greg Kramos / USFWS via WikiCommons