The Moore American

Local News

April 30, 2014

State banking on program to protect prairie chicken

SELMAN — As a coyote howled in the distance, the rolling, scrubby plains of the Cimarron Bluff Wildlife Management Area in rural Harper County turned into what state biologist Larry Wiemers could only describe as nature’s version of the biker bar.

The males showed up first, long before dawn, posturing, calling out, fighting and preening in hopes of impressing the ladies, who drifted in at their leisure, looking their feathery best.

But after a long dawn of covert appraisals, the females gave the males the cold shoulder and flew the coop, leaving birds and humans alike disappointed.

With only 17,000 chickens left rangewide and a federal threatened species designation recently attached to the lesser prairie chicken, ensuring and encouraging reproduction of the bird has never been more important.

Oklahoma officials are banking on a 373-page, five-state conservation plan to save the species. The plan attempts to protect the chicken and address conservation by balancing the nesting and mating grounds of the chicken with business and agricultural interests in the eight remaining Oklahoma prairie chicken counties — Beaver, Cimarron, Ellis, Harper, Roger Mills, Texas, Woods and Woodward. But not everyone is a fan of the plan.

“(We need to) make common-sense conservation decisions that benefit both the chicken and industry and farmers and ranchers. They’re going to have to co-exist, there’s no two ways about it,” said Allan Janus with the Oklahoma’s Department of Wildlife Conservation, who is spearheading the state’s implementation of the plan.

The recent threatened designation makes it more complex for industry to flourish in western Oklahoma as businesses must be cognizant of where they add oil rigs, build wind turbines, add pipelines or transmission lines or build roadways so as not to disturb the areas where the chickens nest or mate. If the business violates “take,” the federal designation for harming, threatening or harassing a threatened species, it risks stiff federal criminal and civil ramifications.

Text Only
Local News
  • Heathplex Healthplex, EMSStat recognized

    Norman Regional Health System’s Healthplex and EMSStat teams were recognized Thursday by the American Heart Association, receiving a Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS opens lecture series

    People leaving incarceration face a variety of challenges even without a diagnosis of mental illness. But for those who face mental

    July 23, 2014

  • ‘Magic Kids’ get royal treatment

    A Moore elementary student is among three metro children honored by Oklahoma City radio station, KMGL-FM, as “Magic Kids” for their outstanding contributions to their families, schools and local communities.

    July 23, 2014

  • Toothpick holders’ convention coming

    Lynne Ryan has been collecting toothpick holders her entire life. “My parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. ‘Bud’ Gibbs started our collectio

    July 23, 2014

  • Gang member charged in shooting

    An Oklahoma City man police identified as a gang member was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon Thursday after sh

    July 23, 2014

  • Angels protect us

    A co-worker unpacked a box of copy machine paper from a cardboard box and got a nasty paper cut. Because the source was cardboard, it was deeper than most and the bleeding was difficult to stop.

    July 23, 2014

  • Southmoore student wins gold at National FCCLA

    More than 7,000 Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members, advisers, alumni, and guests from across the country recen

    July 23, 2014

  • Moore shut out of prevention aid

    As a massive tornado bore down on Moore on the afternoon of May 20, 2013, residents scrambled to find shelter. Some retreated to safe rooms at home or in buildings. Many hid in closets, bathrooms or hallways.

    July 22, 2014

  • Sculpture brings tornado-torn community back together

    After the May 20 tornado tore through Moore in 2013, hundreds of families were left to pick up the pieces. And it was in these old, shattered pieces of people’s homes and scattered debris that two local artists found something new.

    July 22, 2014

  • Panel explains forced labor system

    Many topics were discussed over the course of three days during the 2014 Oklahoma Judicial Conference, but one of the newest issues

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide