Trading Cotton for Prairie Chickens
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is making headlines across the High Plains Region for its interest in adding the Lesser Prairie Chicken to the Threatened Species list. Such a move could have a significant, detrimental impact on the agriculture based economy of our region.
When a species is singled out for protection by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it falls under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. The Act allows the government to acquire land for the conservation of listed species using land and water conservation funds. However, it also prohibits any activity likely to cause an unauthorized taking of the endangered or threatened species. This gives the federal government the ability to set civil and criminal penalties for any activity that may harm or kill the listed species. It may also include extensive monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency.
This type of regulation could have significant impact on farmers and ranchers alike by preventing them from expanding onto new lands potentially encroaching on habitats of the Lesser Prairie Chicken, or using chemicals that may harm its food supply or the bird itself.
The attorneys at the McCleskey law firm are closely monitoring the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services’ listing process to ensure that the voices of the High Plains producers are heard loud and clear. We are also prepared to advise producers throughout Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Colorado on their best courses of action in conservation of our natural resources. We are working to help our producers so that they are able to provide for their families and yours for generations to come.