Apr 15, 2014 10:58 AM by David Randall
LOVINGTON, N.M. (AP) - Around two dozen ranchers have expressed their frustration to U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce over the federal government's decision to list the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.
The Hobbs News-Sun reports that the Republican congressman met with the ranchers in Lovington on Monday for what is a series of planned meetings over the rare grouse. Meetings are also scheduled in Roswell on Tuesday and Portales on Wednesday.
Pearce said some believed the drought and the federal government should take some of the blame for the dwindling numbers for the chicken.
Ranchers and oil companies believe the listing will have a negative effect on the ranching, oil and gas and wind farm industries in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. That's where the chicken's habitat is known.