Native grasslands are being depleted more quickly than the Amazon Rainforest and grassland birds are on the decline in the nation.
That's according to the US Fish and Wildlife Service --- which is why the department took the time to present a Wildlife Award to Alliance Pipeline.
Biologist Carol Aron says the oil company is taking the lead taking extra steps to avoid impacts to migratory birds.
Alliance Pipeline is routing the pipeline to avoid native prairie.
The company is also taking steps to restore any land that is disturbed and buying conservation easements that protect existing grasslands.
Aron says even if an area is replanted, it can take up to ten years to attract native species and often that area is never the same.
Aron says an award like this is rare, but the US Fish and Wildlife Service aimed to recognize the efforts of Alliance Pipeline and hope other companies follow suit.
(Carol Aron, US Fish & Wildlife Service Biologist) "We're seeing a lot of impacts on the landscape with oil and gas and a lot of responsible companies like Alliance that are really stepping up and trying to preserve and keep what we have. We really appreciate that and we want to recognize that from the US Fish and Wildlife Service."