ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) – Officials in southeastern New Mexico say they won’t stop fighting to keep the lesser prairie chicken off the federal protected list despite a pending federal lawsuit.
The Roswell Daily Record reports Chaves County Board of Commissioners chair Will Cavin said last week officials protest the listing because it could affect grazing rights and other issues in New Mexico.
Three conservation groups are suing the federal government to force it to protect the lesser prairie chicken and its habitats.
The lawsuit alleges that the U.S. Interior Department’s Fish and Wildlife Service has not done enough to protect the bird. The groups want the agency to determine whether the lesser prairie chicken is a threatened or endangered species.
The bird roams parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado.