Thanks to LPCI partner organization, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA), for this story.
A Texas Panhandle meeting and field trip organized this spring for regional field staff of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) highlighted efforts on public and private land to conserve the lesser prairie-chicken.
FWS officials met with WAFWA staff and representatives of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative Council in Lubbock on April 17. The following day, the group toured the Yoakum Dunes Wildlife Management Area with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department staff to observe on-the-ground conservation efforts on state land, and also toured a nearby private ranch that is under a term conservation agreement with WAFWA.
The group was treated to the inspiring sight of booming lesser prairie-chickens on two leks, saw plenty of other wildlife and they were all encouraged by what they saw.
“One word sums up the day: awesome!” said Benjamin Tuggle, regional director for the USFWS Southwest Region. “I am sure that through our continued collaboration and communications we will strengthen our partnership and foster additional opportunities for conservation in the Great Plains.”
WAFWA Story Map
The landscape-scale conservation work currently underway for lesser prairie-chickens in five western states is massive in scale and complex in scope. To help people understand what it’s all about, WAFWA has recently launched new “story maps” to explain different elements of the plan and how it all comes together. The interactive site is easy to navigate and provides detail in easy to understand terms.