February 28, 2014
Service Finalizes Range-wide Conservation Agreement
to Aid Lesser Prairie-Chicken on Oil and Gas Lands
Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) signed the Range-wide Oil and Gas Industry Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (LEPC CCAA). The Service also released an accompanying environmental assessment (EA). The agreement is the result of longstanding cooperation between the Service and the five range states of the lesser prairie-chicken—Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico—to undertake conservation action for the species, which is proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The LEPC CCAA incorporates measures to address impacts to the lesser prairie-chicken from oil and gas activities on non-federal enrolled lands. Landowners can voluntary enroll their lands into the CCAA. On undertaking certain actions that impact the lesser prairie-chicken or its habitat, the participants will be required to pay mitigation fees. Funds generated through these fees will enable implementation of conservation actions on enrolled lands elsewhere.
|Final LEPC CCAA, EA, and other Documents|
|Findings and Recommendations|
|FONSI and Environmental Assessment (EA)|
The lesser prairie-chicken is a species of prairie grouse known for its colorful spring mating displays. Once abundant across much of the five range states, its distribution has been reduced by an estimated 84 percent from historical levels, primarily as a result of loss and fragmentation of the region’s native grasslands and prairies due to development and conversion to other uses.
For more information on the lesser prairie-chicken and the Service’s actions for this species, click on: