10 Things You Can Do for Lesser Prairie-Chickens

What can you do to help lesser prairie-chickens? Whether or not you own prairie habitat, there’s  a whole lot you can do to act on behalf of prairie wildlife.

1. Take Part in the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative

Oklahoma rancher Martin Moore reviews his grazing plan with NRCS District Conservationist Paul Clark.

If you’re a landowner in the lesser prairie-chicken’s habitat range, you may be eligible to receive technical and financial assistance from the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative (LPCI) to take part in conservation planning and range management that benefit lesser prairie-chickens AND the bottom line of your agricultural operation.

Find out how to enroll.

2. Support Landowners Practicing Careful Stewardship 

Healthy grasslands don’t just happen–they’re the result of careful stewardship. Ninety-five percent of the grasslands lesser prairie-chickens inhabit is privately owned. When you pay access fees to hunt, fish, or bird-watch on healthy grasslands, you’re supporting excellent stewardship and offering incentive for landowners to maintain quality habitat on their land.

3. Support LPCI’s Partners

Dogs await the start of the Bird Dog Parade at the annual Pheasant Fest, hosted by Pheasants Forever, an LPCI partner organization. (Photo: Pioneer Press, Dave Orrick)

Visit our Partners page and check out the many partner organizations who work with LPCI to achieve lesser prairie-chicken conservation through sustainable agriculture.

You’ll find links to their websites, where you can find out more about them and how to support their efforts.

4. Purchase a Hunting License

The purchase of licenses by hunters, trappers and anglers, as well as the taxes derived from the sale of sporting equipment and fuels for boating, supports fish and wildlife habitat conservation and research.

5. Buy Grass-fed Beef

You can act on behalf of prairie grasslands and the wildlife that depend on them through your supermarket choices.  When you buy grass-fed beef, you support keeping our grasslands as grasslands.

6. Discover the Prairie

There are so many ways to learn more about the prairie.  Visit our Prairie Community pages to find out more about lesser prairie-chickens and the complex community of plants and animals they live with. Our News and Resources page offers many links to readings, videos, and podcasts on LPCI, sustainable range management, prairie ecology, and much more. Sign up for LPCI’s e-newsletter to stay posted on what we’re up to.

Viewing blinds on the Selman Ranch in Oklahoma, one of the field sites for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival in Woodward, OK.

Best of all, spend time in native grasslands across the Great Plains, at sites like the Konza Prairie Biological Station, where managers aim to sustain the complex prairie ecosystem through management that mimics historic disturbance patterns. Attend prairie festivals, like Woodward Oklahoma’s Lesser Prairie-Chicken Festival. If you haven’t yet sat in a blind in the early morning hours, listening to prairie-chickens boom and foot-stomp and cluck and spar in the first light of a spring day, it’s high time!

 

7. Volunteer Time and Sweat 

Even if you don’t own prairie grasslands, you can help out with their stewardship. Volunteer to help a ranching neighbor carry out conservation practices. Contact your local prescribed burn association and volunteer to help out with prescribed burns. Some of our partner organizations hold volunteer days for clearing invasive species, installing wildlife water tanks, and more, so be sure to check out their websites for more information. Let your state representatives know that you support grassland conservation.

8. Celebrate all things prairie

Lesser prairie-chicken (photo Jeremy Roberts, Conservation Media)

If you are fortunate enough to live on the Great Plains, hold an event in your community to celebrate the prairie: the remarkable community of life there, the bounty it brings to our lives, and the resilience and fragility of the prairie ecosystem, the ranching heritage it supports. Involve your local school in the celebration -– children are the next generation of land stewards.

9. Spread the Word

Know someone with land in the lesser prairie-chicken’s range? Tell them about LPCI’s voluntary conservation programs and the technical and financial assistance LPCI provides.

Like LPCI on Facebook. By going to the LPCI Facebook page and clicking LIKE at the top, you’ll be able to follow LPCI news and learn more about the world of the lesser prairie-chicken. If you see a story that moves you, share it with your friends.

10. Share Your Story

Have you had a memorable encounter with lesser prairie-chickens or the prairie in general? Helped conserve prairie habitat for lesser prairie-chickens and other wildlife? Seen first-hand how conservation practices benefit both people and wildlife? We’d love to hear your story!