SANTA FE – On Thursday, September 23, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) was joined by members of the State Game Commission, NGL Energy Partners LP, the secretary of the Department of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Sarah Cottrell Propst and members of the public cut the ribbon on a newly purchased property benefiting Little Prairie Chicken, other grassland birds, American antelope and grassland habitats.
The acquisition of Pipkin Ranch, located approximately 40 miles southeast of Fort Sumner, was made possible through a public-private partnership with NGL Energy Partners and funds generated from the sale of fishing and hunting licenses. This 7,500-acre purchase connects two existing properties in the department, creating more than 10,000 continuous acres dedicated to prairie wildlife in New Mexico.
“I want to thank the New Mexico athletes and our NGL partners for their contributions to conservation,” said NMDGF Director Mike Sloane. “This public-private partnership is an example of the positive work that can happen when we all recognize the value of conservation. I am delighted to have been a part of this effort and believe it will serve as an example in the future as we begin to implement the 30×30 initiative recently put forward by the Governor. “
Game Commission Chair Sharon Salazar Hickey said, “Buying and maintaining a property like this ranch is a great example of wildlife habitat conservation. She added, “To the average eye, the Pipkin Ranch can look like a rolling prairie with little value; but for the little prairie chicken, it’s a chance to grow – an important bastion of conservation! “
The little prairie chicken is an iconic species of American grouse that is being considered for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. The Little Prairie Chicken tends to occupy the prairies and native prairies. One of the main causes of concern for the little prairie chickens is habitat loss.
NGL Energy Partners LP is a diversified, publicly traded energy company with an infrastructure to primarily displace liquid hydrogen carbons and water from New Mexico, including wastewater. NGL Energy Partners selflessly stepped in to facilitate the purchase – ensuring that this property, with its multiple known Lower Prairie Chicken leks, was added to the state’s conservation portfolio.
Matthias Sayer, from NGL Energy Partners, said: “. but across the state.
This public-private partnership began just days before the release of Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s 30 x 30 initiative. Sayer cited Governor Lujan Grisham’s executive order protecting New Mexico’s land, watersheds, wildlife and natural heritage: “The voluntary practices implemented by land managers, including private landowners and leases , on cultivated lands (both private and public) provide opportunities to support wider restoration activities, improve the health of watersheds, create resilience in rural and urban communities, add value to the food chain and food security and contribute to the state’s outdoor recreation and ecotourism economy. Sayer continued, “This is exactly what was done here today and we are happy to be a part of it.”