The Kansas Farm Bureau with support from the Kansas Corn Growers Association is working to put a price tag on saving the prairie chicken. Their message is economic disaster.
Jim Sipes is a farmer in Stanton County. There’s been a large reduction in the amount of intent to drill permits that began prior to the drop in oil prices.
Sipes says the decrease is largely due to the $46,000 to $83,000 mitigation fee per drilled well companies have to pay for disrupting the bird’s habitat.
He says it’s even worse for the wind industry. Three projects have been stopped, and the mitigation fee for each wind tow is $400,000 to $1 million depending on the value of the habitat. There’s also a fee for transmission lines which is roughly $870,000 a mile.
These costs are associated with the species having the threatened tag. If the chicken is listed as endangered, it will change everything.