From the Midland Reporter-Telegram
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2016 11:45 pm | Updated: 6:37 pm, Mon Apr 4, 2016.
By Mella McEwen firstname.lastname@example.org
A month after Senior U.S. District Judge Robert Junell upheld his September 2015 ruling overturning the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as “threatened,” a second-year update offered good news on the species.
The Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, which oversees the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan, said in its second annual report to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the lesser prairie chicken had another successful year in 2015.
In the report, WAFWA said the chicken’s range-wide population had increased by 25 percent to just more than 29,000 birds, industry partners had committed nearly $51 million in fees to pay for mitigation actions, and landowners across the five-state range agreed to conserve more than 67,000 acres of habitat.
“WAFWA is really pleased with the progress being made with the implementation of the RWP,” Bill Van Pelt, WAFWA grassland coordinator, told the Reporter-Telegram by email.