My turn: Students learn importance of ‘prairie coal’

I spent an afternoon recently with fifth- and sixth-graders from various local schools who were exploring a dry playa lake bed near Dora. The pasture we were in held cattle all summer. While they had been moved out long before our visit, there was still plenty of evidence they’d been there. Cattle are generous that […]

Grant McGee: Prairie dogs get no love

The Lady of the House and I were driving by a prairie dog town some time ago. It was your typical, standard-issue, prairie dog town in a vacant lot in the city limits. Prairie dogs were running about, some were foraging by the side of the road, others were standing guard. But this dog town […]

Prairie chicken poster contest open

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Argen Duncan The annual High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival poster contest is taking entries as the event, which had participant slots filled in record time this year, nears. The 10th annual festival offers viewings of the lesser prairie chickens’ mating dances, entertainment and educational tours April 15-17 in Milnesand. The event is limited to 100 […]

Baskett signs, practices with Vikings

Staff and wire reports EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Clovis’ Hank Baskett practiced Wednesday with the Minnesota Vikings, one day after being released from the Philadelphia Eagles for the second time in two years. The 2001 Clovis High graduate signed a one-year deal with Minnesota, which is in desperate need of healthy receivers. Sidney Rice is […]

Study: Urban prairie dogs at risk

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Argen Duncan After studying black-tailed prairie dogs within the city of Clovis and around rural Roosevelt and Curry counties, Eastern New Mexico University researchers concluded that those in the city spend less time foraging for food, which could hurt their chances of survival. As an ENMU undergraduate, Jenny Ramirez compared the behavior of rural and […]

Tuesday morning briefing: Pets, prairie chickens and Weed, N.M.

Good morning. It’s the Freedom New Mexico Tuesday briefing. Video of the day Meet a fuzzy dog named Kizer in Pet Parade. Chicken cash Heads up lesser prairie chicken fans. The Natural Resources Conservation Service in New Mexico has received $300,000 for its lesser prairie chicken habitat enhancement efforts. Lesser prairie chickens live in Roosevelt […]

Meetings watch: Council OKs agreement for Prairie Walk Subdivision

During Tuesday’s Portales City Council meeting councilors: • Approved a resolution to continue membership in the Eastern Plains Council of Government through 2011 at a cost of $2,577 a year. Councilor Gary Watkins was asked to retain his role as a member and Councilor Oscar Robinson was named as an alternate. • Approved a liquor […]

My Turn: Hooked on prairie dog fishing

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By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer Prairie dog angling is something I don’t think many people know about. But the catch-and-release sport is real. I heard a story about a guy who moved to Texas some time ago. He was depressed, because where he lived there was no place to go fishing. One day, while […]

Our people: Literary legacy

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By David Stevens: Freedom New Mexico editor Bio Name: Betty Williamson Birthday: Nov. 12, 1961. Volunteers for: Friends of the Portales Public Library, High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival and Dora schools. Famous relative: She’s the niece of novelist Jack Williamson, who died in 2006 at age 98. The annual Williamson Lectureship has attracted science fiction […]

Wednesday morning briefing: Hot chickens and calling all writers

Good morning. It’s Freedom New Mexico’s Wednesday briefing. Hot chicken Who knew prairie chickens were such a hot item? Turns out all 100 spots to watch the birds’ annual courtship dances have already sold out for the April 16-18 High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival. Heck, they just announced tickets three weeks ago — at $95 […]

Poster contest promotes Prairie Chicken Festival

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By Argen Duncan: PNT senior staff writer The lesser prairie chickens will be strutting their stuff again this year in Milnesand, and artists have a chance to show off their work, too. The ninth annual High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival in Milnesand is scheduled for April 16-18, and the affiliated art contest is ongoing, with […]

Organization works to save, relocate prairie dogs

By Eric Butler: PNT staff writer Prairie dogs aren’t exactly held in the highest regard by those who make a living off the land. In fact, many local farmers, ranchers and developers view the small mammal mostly as a pest to be rid of. Joann Haddock of Lorenzo, Texas and her partner Susan Hubby of […]

Student’s lesser prairie chicken poster wins contest

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By Argen Duncan: PNT Senior Writer A Portales student has drawn the best lesser prairie chicken in a contest, according to judges. Portales Junior High School eighth-grader Alexa Herrington’s watercolor won first place, and $50, in the junior high division of the 2009 High Plains Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival Poster Contest. Herrington’s art teacher, John […]

Jan. 23, 1946

County Agent W.G. Vinzant announced that Louis H. Lanay, district agent for the Predatory and Rodent Control Division, agreed to send a man into Roosevelt County in the coming spring to assist area farmers and ranchers who were having prairie dog troubles.

Calling all artists: Poster contest needs entries

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PNT staff The Lesser Prairie Chicken Festival poster contest is back. Artists from kindergarten through adulthood are invited to create an original two-dimensional design for the contest, according to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Entry deadline is March 1. The winner will receive $300, and the design is […]

Prairie chicken hunts on hold

Staff and Wire Reports SANTA FE — The heads of the state Game and Fish Department and the Game Commission have decided to hold off on issuing hunting permits for the lesser prairie chicken, a longtime candidate for possible protection under the Endangered Species Act. Game and Fish Director Bruce Thompson and Game Commission Chairman […]

Group wants prairie chicken listed as endangered

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By Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press ALBUQUERQUE — Lesser prairie chickens have been reduced to just a fraction of their once booming population across a handful of states, prompting a group of Western conservationists to crank up the pressure on the federal government to provide more protection for the rare bird. Monday marked the […]

Prairie Chickens take stage

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By Karl Terry, PNT Managing Editor A half-hour before daylight Saturday on the prairie west of Milnesand, eight people waited in bleary-eyed anticipation for a look at the first lesser prairie chicken of the day. “I think they’re still asleep,” one voice from the darkened passenger van spoke up. A few minutes later a cackle […]

First person: Tish McDaniel organizes Prairie Chicken Festival

By Liliana Castillo, Freedom New Mexico Part of Tish McDaniel’s job with the Nature Conservancy is to coordinate the Prairie Chicken Festival in Milnesand each year. Born and raised in eastern New Mexico, McDaniel, 54, is glad she can do what she loves in a place she calls home. The issues: The grasslands are critically […]

Prairie Chicken Festival set for April 11-13

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PNT Staff Report Once a year, the small eastern New Mexico community of Milnesand hosts the annual High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival, drawing spectators from near and far, to watch the mating dance of the lesser prairie chicken. Registration is now being taken for the seventh annual High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival which is slated […]