Prairie chicken decision could affect oil and gas industry

A lesser prairie chicken amid the bird's annual mating ritual, April 8, 2021 near Milnesand, New Mexico.


The states of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, Kansas and Colorado await an expected decision this month from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about protections for the lesser prairie chicken and protections under the Endangered Species Act.

The government is considering a “threatened” listing in Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado and an “endangered” listing in New Mexico and west Texas where there are extensive oil and gas operations.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reported such a decision could restrict access to lands needed for the chicken’s recovery and impact some of New Mexico’s biggest industries.

Click here for Carlsbad Current-Argus