SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State officials in New Mexico are not pleased with a decision by the Obama administration to list the lesser prairie chicken as a federally threatened species.
The move could affect oil and gas drilling and other activities in the southeastern corner of the state.
Leaders of the state agriculture and energy departments and the interim director of the Game and Fish Department voiced their opposition in a statement issued Thursday.
They say the listing will “without question decimate economic development and job creation in southeastern New Mexico.”
They say the federal government opted for listing the bird despite work done by New Mexico and others to establish conservation agreements with landowners.
The officials say they’re considering all options for how to respond to what they call a “misguided decision.”