Meet the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, a key partner within the NRCS-led LPCI partnership. LPCI succeeds through the combined resources and know-how of many public agencies, nonprofit organizations, universities, and private businesses. LPCI partners expand the field delivery, science, and communications capacity for lesser prairie-chicken conservation.
One of LPCI’s core partners, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies has taken an innovative and unprecedented approach to lesser prairie-chicken conservation. In partnership with the five states that are home to the lesser prairie-chicken, WAFWA created the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan (RWP) to address the needs of this species while providing a mechanism for regional industry to continue operating.
Completed in 2013, the plan established priority conservation areas, population goals, and habitat goals that all conservation partners are working towards. It also established a voluntary mitigation program for industries developing land within the lesser prairie chicken’s range. Mitigation fees support voluntary habitat conservation planning and management on private agricultural lands. The only plan of its kind endorsed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the RWP was incorporated into the Section 4(d) Special rule at the time of listing in 2014.
Established in 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies represents 19 states and 4 Canadian provinces and supports sound resource management to conserve native wildlife. WAFWA’s lesser prairie-chicken work is part of a broad suite of wildlife conservation initiatives the organization carries out.
Role With LPCI
In addition to funding private land conservation practices, WAFWA provides funds for LPCI field staff who work one-on-one with agricultural producers and conducts monitoring to assess the success of conservation efforts, including an annual aerial population survey.
Jim Pitman, Lesser Prairie-Chicken Conservation Delivery Director, 620-208-6120, firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information: www.wafwa.org