© 2023 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
PRT Header Color
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Proposed rule by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could 'negatively impact' Oklahoma farms, ranches

A photo of livestock provided by the Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association on August 9, 2022.

The Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association said a proposed rule by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service could negatively impact Oklahoma farms and ranches.

According to the FWS, the proposal would change language under the Endangered Species Act to help improve conservation and recovery efforts of ESA-listed species as growing impacts from climate change and invasive species disrupt native biodiversity.

The proposed change would allow officials to introduce species of plants and animals to habitats outside their historical ranges.

Michael Kelsey, OCA's Executive Vice President, said the organization's major concerns are centered around the potential affects that specie introductions could have on the state's ecosystem.

"There's a lot of examples of accidental introduction of non-native species into non-native ranges that have really thrown off the ecosystem locally as well as regionally," Kelsey explained. "So that's on an accident basis — let alone doing it on purpose."

Kelsey said introducing non-native species could negatively affect the Oklahoma's crops, livestock, and wildlife by upsetting natural ecosystems already set in place.

"In fact, the number of negative impacts seem to far outnumber the positive results of non-native species introductions," Kelsey said in a press release.

The organization submitted comments Monday asking Fish and Wildlife Service officials to rescind the federally proposed rule.

The revised regulation would not require the FWS to reevaluate existing experimental populations.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.