Posted: March 27, 2014 - 2:48pm
By Kevin Welch
About 3.5 million acres and $21 million pledged to help the lesser prairie-chicken after 16 years of research, planning and negotiation were not enough to keep the bird off the threatened list of the Endangered Species Act.
The Fish and Wildlife Service announced Thursday it will list the native bird that is approaching extinction, endorsing a conservation plan created by the states affected by the listing.
Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma and Kansas wildlife departments with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies created the Range-wide Conservation Plan that allows landowners and industries like oil and gas and wind farms to make agreements to restore or improve habitat to help the challenged bird.