New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
dan.williams@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JAN. 5, 2009:

PRAIRIE CHICKEN FESTIVAL ACCEPTING  POSTER CONTEST ENTRIES, REGISTRATIONS

MILNESAND, N.M. -- The High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival is looking for a few good artists to help celebrate the eighth annual event, which will be April 17-19, 2009, in Milnesand, N.M.

Artists of all ages are invited to enter their original works in the festival poster contest. The grand prize winning entry will be reproduced on the annual festival poster, and the artist will receive $300. Top winners in three age categories: adult, grades 7-12, and grades K-6, will receive $50.

The deadline for artwork submissions to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for the contest is March 1, 2009. Any two-dimensional media, including but not limited to prints, oils, pastels, acrylics, water media, pen and ink, graphite, photography, digital and mixed media will be considered. Images should represent the lesser prairie chicken and its habitat.

Entries must be received by March 1 in the Public Information and Outreach Division, Department of Game and Fish, 1 Wildlife Way, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504. Entries will be returned only if accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope, or may be picked up from the Department after March 30. Artists should submit 35mm slides, prints, high-resolution digital photos or original work. Artwork must include the artist's name, address, phone or e-mail and entry category. For more information about the contest, call (505) 476-8004.
 
The High Plains Prairie Chicken Festival celebrates the lesser prairie chicken and the Llano Estacado (staked plains) of eastern New Mexico. Festival participants see prairie chickens perform their remarkable early morning courtship dances, learn about the cultural and natural history of the southern Great Plains, take daily birding tours, and enjoy good food and western hospitality.

The 2009 festival will be April 17-19 in Milnesand, N.M., in southeastern New Mexico. Attendance is limited to the first 100 participants who register and pay an entry fee of $90 per person. Participants are encouraged to register early. Registration is limited because of the sensitivity of the lesser prairie chicken during the breeding season. The fee covers all field trips, five meals and a commemorative poster.

The festival is made possible through a cooperative effort of the Department of Game and Fish, the Nature Conservancy of New Mexico, the Grasslans Charitable Foundation, and the community of Milnesand.

Registration forms and more information about the festival are available on the Department's Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us. For more information, please contact Tish McDaniel, (575) 762-6997 or chickenfestival@yahoo.com.

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