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Officials To Examine Prairie Chickens in Okla. (Sep 02, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Officials in Oklahoma are going to discuss whether a bird called the lesser prairie chicken should be named an endangered or threatened species.

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe announced Friday that he will host forums next week in Woodward and Edmond to talk about the future of the stocky, ground-dwelling bird.

Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, says he's concerned that listing the bird as endangered or threatened could hurt jobs and economic development in Oklahoma.

Conservationists have said wind turbines could adversely affect the prairie chickens' breeding grounds.

Lawmakers in the western part of the state say adding the bird to an endangered or threatened species list could harm the burgeoning wind energy industry there.

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