Fourth New Mexico County Joins Prairie Chicken Battle

Jun 16, 2014

Credit State of Colorado

  Another New Mexico county has joined a lawsuit to fight the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

Lea County in southeastern New Mexico joined three other counties in the state last week in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The counties, along with the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, are suing in federal court over concerns the rare grouse's status is inconclusive.

Ranchers and oil companies believe the listing will have a negative effect on the ranching, oil and gas and wind farm industries in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. That's where the chicken's habitat is known.

In March, the Obama administration listed the prairie chicken as threatened.


Information from: Hobbs News-Sun,

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