Lesser Prairie Chicken at Sunrise - Milnesand, NM, File# 1311117
Another problem (or non-problem dependent on your point of view) was the increased possibility of listing the bird as Threatened according to the Endangered Species Act. There are clear challenges with local communities if the bird gets listed this way because the law requires certain restrictions because of such a labeling. On the other hand, the bird is doing fairly well in other locations in the US. Of course, like anything with the Lesser Prairie Chicken, nothing is simple just as canceling the festival was not a simple matter.
Instead of the festival, the organizers still supported an academic field trip from Texas Tech University. They also supported a couple of private viewers. As a result, some of the team of volunteers did gather in Milnesand for a small celebration of another year with the Lesser Prairie Chicken. (I have pictures of the big get together ready for another blog).
For me, I got to reconnect with several friends I hadn't seen in a year. Of course, we said good bye to friends who departed the previous year. When you see Eastern New Mexico with its utter lack of pretentiousness you understand losing people (and gaining people) is simply a matter of life.
I also spent a couple of mornings with the birds as you see in these images/videos. That's always good though I know it's really about the birds and the community of people surround them that really makes this place great. That I got anything here in these pages is simply gravy.