States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas

Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say surging interest in a conservation plan to save the quickly disappearing lesser prairie chicken should persuade the federal government not to list the bird as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. 

The wide-ranging plan aims to help energy companies, developers and landowners, who say such a designation could threaten their activities in areas where the chicken roams, which include West Texas and the PanhandleIf the bird is listed, penalties for harming it could include heavy fines and even jail time. 

As of this week, 17 major companies that operate in Texas ...

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