The governors of Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico,Oklahoma and Texas say public-private partnerships involving landowners and developers are the best way to protect the habitat of the lesser prairie chicken.
The Journal Record in Oklahoma City reported Friday that the governors this month signed a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service asking the agency to not add the bird to the threatened species list. They say that adding the bird could slow development of oil, gas and wind projects in the Plains.
Wildlife agencies in the five states back in 1996 formed a group to determine a way to conserve the bird's habitat. The Fish and Wildlife Service says it received the letter from the governors and is working on a response.