McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 19, 2012

Outdoors: Lesser, greater prairie chickens

By John Yates
Special Correspondent

McALESTER — Things have to have names or “things” just don’t work out in our society. It’s quite possibly one of my many failings to quibble so much over word usage and definition.

For instance, when I hear or read reference to the “lesser prairie chicken” I think about his “big” brother, the “greater” prairie chicken. And I checked; there actually is a greater prairie chicken. It’s just not getting the publicity the wildlife department is currently giving the lesser prairie chicken.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, it is working to conserve the lesser prairie chicken in northwest Oklahoma. Collectively — between the wildlife department and other state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and industries — over $40 million has been spent on or committed to habitat management and research efforts that benefit the lesser prairie chicken.

“The department supports responsible development and is working toward a shared goal of keeping the lesser prairie chicken off the endangered species list,” said Doug Schoeling, upland game biologist for the wildlife department.

John Yates is the news director at McAlester Radio. Contact him at

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