4th New Mexico county joins prairie chicken fight

HOBBS, N.M. (AP) _ Another New Mexico county has joined a lawsuit to fight the
listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

The Hobbs News-Sun reports (http://goo.gl/kqEWJ8) that Lea County in
southeastern New Mexico joined three other counties in the state last week in a
federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service.

The counties, along with the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, are suing in
federal court over concerns the rare grouse's status is inconclusive.

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.

In March, the Obama administration listed the prairie chicken as threatened.

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