TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas Senate committee has voted to repeal the state’s 39-year-old endangered species law.
The Lawrence Journal-World reports the vote came Thursday as the Senate Natural Resources Committee was considering a bill to remove two snakes from state protection.
The committee’s Republican chairman, Larry Powell of Garden City, inserted an amendment repealing the entire 1975 Kansas law, then placed the language into a unrelated bill already approved by the state House.
Powell says the endangered species law has cost the state economic development opportunities.
The law puts the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism in charge of identifying and undertaking appropriate conservation measures for endangered species.
The Audubon Society of Kansas criticized Powell’s move as a “stealth attack” on conservation of state-designated threatened and endangered species.