LPCI Scorecard Highlights our Successes
Since the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative first began in 2010, we’ve worked across the southern Great Plains to improve lesser prairie-chicken habitat, improve rangeland health, and build stronger farming and ranching communities, all of which has resulted in an improved outlook for the iconic bird.
In 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that putting the lesser prairie-chicken on the Endangered Species List was not warranted, but we didn’t stop working to improve the bird’s habitat. Instead, we set aggressive milestones for the conservation practices we implement with our partners and producers. Our goal was to complete or exceed each milestone by the end of fiscal year 2018.
Despite our work (and the work of many others), threats to the bird’s long-term health still remain. These threats also impact other wildlife and even the ranchers and communities that also rely on healthy rangeland. That’s why we have continued to work with ranchers and our partners to improve lesser prairie-chicken habitat by strategically focusing our conservation practices:
- Support sustainable grazing management that provides nesting cover and supports native plants.
- Increase connectivity of habitat.
- Improve management of weeds and invasive species.
- Reduce tillage on agricultural fields.
- Protect, maintain and restore large tracts of grasslands and prairies.
- Maintain stability of land use and conserve shrub-dominated habitats near lek sites.
The new 2018 LPCI Scorecard shows how we’ve done since 2015. Highlights include:
- Total NRCS investment of $6.7 million in LPCI-related conservation and activities.
- 69 contracts covering more than 250,000 acres of land for LPCI-related conservation and activities.
- Removed invading conifers and mesquite on more than 26,000 acres.
- Improved more than 370,000 acres of degraded rangeland.
- And lots more…