Timmons Group was selected to assist the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) with the development of a spatial management and mobile inspection system for their habitat offset banking for the Lesser Prairie Chicken.
WAFWA, in partnership with the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas embarked on an innovative and unprecedented approach to wildlife conservation. This partnership began in 2012 with the Directors of the five states that are home to the Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) and its habitat to outline the needs of this charismatic grouse species endemic to the five states.
“The Lesser Prairie Chicken Range-wide Conservation Plan,” (RWP), written by the states LPC interstate working group, addresses the needs of this species, establish population goals and provides a mechanism for industry to continue operating. This document brings together the different voluntary conservation programs in the high plains into a common approach to provide for both minimization and mitigation of impacts and conservation of LPC habitat.
The LPC initiative is a partnership between the five (5) LPC range states, industry; oil, gas, wind, electricity and telecommunications, and private landowners; farmers and ranchers. In addition to those USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) as well as Conservation NGO’s like Pheasants Forever and The Nature Conservancy have joined the partnership to work towards improving and funding conservation of LPC and its habitats. This innovative approach has just completed the first year of implementation and WAFWA and the many partners are already seeing successes.
Timmons Group was hired to help WAFWA spatially manage LPC habit, impacts to LPC habitat, and provide spatial audit trails for every impact to the resulting offset. All offsets are inspected for habitat quality on an annual basis. Mobile tools to assist WAFWA staff perform inspection as well as enrollment tools will also be built during this project.