A flock of quail scurries across the road near a drilling rig. A tiny sand dune lizard makes its home not far from a natural gas pipeline. Fish swim along the Pecos River through one of the world’s most prolific oil fields.
Desert animals coexist with oil wells and pumpjacks in southeast New Mexico, but a new management plan could determine what land should be set aside for wildlife habitat and what land can remain open to federal energy leases.
Bureau of Land Management field offices update a Resource Management Plan every few decades. For the Carlsbad office, the document – which was amended in 1997 and 2008 – will shape the agency’s control of 2 million acres of federal land. The office released a draft plan in August 2018 and is expected to publish the final proposed plan this month.