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      Texas preparing to protect prairie chicken

      Texas Parks and Wildlife has created a Range Wide Plan they hope will keep the federal government from putting the lesser prairie chicken on the endangered list.

      At a meeting Wednesday in Canadian, ranchers, landowners and oil and gas companies gathered in the Hemphill County Extension Building.

      The gathering was sponsored by the North Plains Electric Cooperative.

      The plan offers interested parties financial incentives by doing particular things to their property, or making business decisions, that are beneficial to the survival of the chicken.

      Wayne Hughes of the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association says heâ??s worked closely with Texas Parks and Wildlife to come up with the plan that will hopefully keep the federal government out of the equation.

      "Weâ??re trying to find ways to coexist with that animal."

      He says the State is more in a position to make the decisions.ã?? "Weâ??re capable of managing the impact of our industry on the lesser prairie chicken and we need to be given that opportunity.ã?? We can do it more fiscally than a federal agency can."