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U.S. Fish and Wildlife propose rule to list the lesser prairie chickens under the Endangered Species Act

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a proposed rule to list the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act. A 12-month fact-finding process is currently underway. If the chicken is listed as endangered next year in New Mexico, this could result in a series of rules, which would be highly prohibitive to industry operators and ranchers. 

 Thankfully, Carlsbad has a service that has been addressing this issue for many years in a way that is both protective of species in the area and local business interests. 

 CEHMM has developed a number of what are called Candidate Conservation Agreements with industry members and ranchers. It’s a sort of insurance policy for environmental regulation. Members agree to certain collaborative conservation efforts, but in turn they are not impacted by any more prohibitive rules that might be introduced. CEHMM’s agreements were developed through years of cooperation between regulators and industry members, and they are generally considered an excellent compromise. 

 Currently, CEHMM has 42 enrollees representing industry operators and 72 representing ranchers. Together, this covers about 4 million acres throughout the area. CEHMM also assists with brush control, habitat restoration and reclamation efforts. For more information, please contact Emily Wirth at (575)- 885-3700. Or 

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