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Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Plan Continues to Grow

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A plan to provide habitat for the lesser prairie-chicken continues to grow.

Private companies in five states have now enrolled more than 2.5 million acres in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan.

The businesses involved include oil and gas, pipelines, electric transmission, and wind energy, resulting in almost $15 million for habitat conservation over the next three years.

The new enrollments are added to more than 1.3 million acres of oil and gas leases under conservation agreements in New Mexico.

Range-wide plan enrollment now includes 14 electric transmission companies, representing most of the electric grid across the species’ range in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

“Under the range-wide plan, a broad coalition of government, industry, agriculture, and conservation interests is demonstrating unprecedented collaboration, showing we can take care of this bird and its prairie habitat without needing to list it,” said Bill Van Pelt, grassland coordinator for the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing the bird as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, and a final determination is expected by March 31st.

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