Created: 06/16/2014 10:51 AM
By: The Associated Press
HOBBS, N.M. (AP) - Another New Mexico county has joined a lawsuit to fight the listing of the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.
The Hobbs News-Sun reports that Lea County in southeastern New Mexico joined three other counties in the state last week in a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The counties, along with the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, are suing in federal court over concerns the rare grouse's status is inconclusive.
Ranchers and oil companies believe the listing will have a negative effect on the ranching, oil and gas and wind farm industries in New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Colorado. That's where the chicken's habitat is known.
In March, the Obama administration listed the prairie chicken as threatened.
(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)