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Pearce to host town halls on lesser prairie chicken

Rep. Steve Pearce is hosting a series of town hall meetings this week that will give New Mexicans a chance to ask questions about the impact of the lesser prairie chicken’s recent listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Pearce’s office said today that representatives from the U..S Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Land Management have been invited to attend. The prairie chicken’s listing is controversial. While environmental advocates contend the listing is needed to protect the chicken and its habitat, some oil and gas industry proponents contend it could restrict the amount of drilling and job creation that could occur in the state.

The town halls will be held on the following dates:

• April 14, 1 PM at the Lovington Chamber of Commerce, 201 S Main Ave

• April 15, 1 PM at the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, 131 W 2nd St


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• April 16, 10 AM at the Portales Chamber of Commerce, 100 S Ave A

“I encourage all residents affected by the lesser prairie chicken listing to attend one of these town hall meetings,” Pearce said. “You have a right to ask government officials why they made the decisions they made. Their choices affect your right to farm your land, graze your cattle, or continue the energy boom that’s created so many good-paying jobs throughout Southeastern New Mexico. Federal officials owe New Mexicans an explanation for why their extraordinary cooperative efforts to preserve lesser prairie chicken habitat were not good enough.”