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■ INSIDE Kilowatt JUNE 2014


Published for members of Kiwash Electric Cooperative


A supplement to Oklahoma Living


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the lesser prairie chicken as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act.


quickly to member requests. Dennis Krueger, KEC general manager, said the ruling could restrict new construction and affect other day-to-day operations in areas designated as bird habitat. It will not impeded work related to power outages.


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Lesser prairie chicken (LPC) habitat includes parts of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado. Roughly 10 to 15 percent of KEC service territory is considered LPC habitat. Most of the area is located in the northwest portion of the co-op system—generally, north, west and east of Hammon, northwest of Foss Lake, and west and north of Butler and Rhea.


Hoping to avoid the need to list the LPC under the Endangered Species Act, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), working with state wildlife agencies, electric co-ops, private organizations and other stakeholders in the five-state region developed a range-wide conservation plan. Industry participating in the plan committed more than $21 million to protect the bird across 3.6 million


he March 27 listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species could effect Kiwash Electric Cooperative’s ability to react


Vote YES on June 24 for compromise in Washita County. page 2


Help your home save energy while you’re on vacation. page 3


Serious drought conditions require serious conservation efforts . page 4


Kiwash Electric Cooperative PO Box 100 • 120 West 1st Street Cordell, Oklahoma


tele: (888) 832-3362 www.kiwash.coop


Big Cluck Over Chicken Little Regulations on lesser prairie chicken could impact Kiwash Electric


acres. While the plan was endorsed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in October 2013, it did not preclude the LPC listing.


“A decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act places unnecessary burdens on electric cooperatives that have already made significant conservation efforts in the bird’s five-state habitat,” said NRECA CEO Jo Ann Emerson.“This decision wastes an opportunity to try an innovative, collaborative approach to species conservation that many local stakeholders have developed,” Emerson said.


Six Oklahoma co-ops including Kiwash Electric Cooperative (KEC) have actively supported the range-wide conservation plan.


USFWS did apply a special rule that will enable all five states to “continue to manage conservation efforts for the species and avoid further regulation of activities such as oil and gas development and utility line maintenance,” the wildlife service said.


Electric co-ops, however, remain concerned that once a species is listed, Endangered Species Act compliance can seriously impact the ability of co-ops to site and maintain power lines.


“We hope the range-wide plan works as expected and that a reasonable and fair conservation program can be implemented without burdening the businesses within the habitat area,” said Krueger. “If you live and work inside a protected area, please realize that new construction or system improvements may take longer due to these new regulations.”


While the ruling may delay new construction or non-emergency maintenance items during specified times of the year, it will not hamper outage restoration or the ability to repair potentially hazardous situations involving powerlines.


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BOARD OF TRUSTEES Jack Sawatzky, President


Robert Travis, Vice President John Schaufele, Secretary Treasurer Rex Eagan, Asst. Secretary Treasurer Virginia Walker


Ralph Cunningham Jevon West


Dennis Kreuger, General Manager PAYMENT OPTIONS


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