Providing Predictability

USDA-NRCS photo

Participating in LPCI means you can run your agricultural operation without fear of Endangered Species Act regulation.

LPCI’s message to ranchers is clear — when you enroll land with LPCI, follow a sustainable grazing plan, and complete other conservation practices to benefit lesser prairie-chickens, you can continue your agricultural operation without fear of Endangered Species Act regulation.

NRCS and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (which oversees the Endangered Species Act) have formed a partnership program, known as Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW), to implement this predictability assurance. When landowners request a conservation plan be developed through the WLFW program, they agree to follow particular conservation practices appropriate for their land.

Participating landowners who voluntarily follow this conservation plan may receive protection from ESA regulation for “incidental take” through July 30, 2040. In other words, if a lesser prairie-chicken is injured or killed prior to that date, or its habitat degraded significantly as a result of activities on a ranch that has followed the conservation measures outlined in a WLFW plan, the rancher is protected from liability for that “take”.

By providing this long-term predictability, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service encourages long-term implementation of conservation practices beyond short-term EQIP contract periods.

For answers to frequently asked questions about ESA predictability, read the NRCS publication, Working Lands for Wildlife: Lesser Prairie-Chicken (PDF).