Today, Congressman Steve Pearce released the following statement regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's announcement that the dunes sagebrush lizard will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act:
"For nearly two years, New Mexicans have fought against the unnecessary listing of the lizard," said Pearce. "They have demanded that the government base its decision on accurate science and the local protections already in place to conserve the lizard. While it was a long and emotional process, in the end, Washington listened, and the lizard will not be listed. This is a huge victory for the people who have tirelessly fought to save regional jobs and our way of life. I extend my gratitude to the New Mexicans who came to the table, and through good faith efforts, voluntarily protected the lizard's habitat."
"On both sides of the state line--in Texas and New Mexico--local and state officials, private stakeholders and conservationists put millions of dollars and acres into this balanced approach that saves both the lizard and our jobs," Pearce continued. "The conservation agreements in place to conserve the lizard are undoubtedly some of the most successful ever. The willingness of New Mexicans and Texans to conserve the habitat and species serves as a fine example of what we can do when the federal government takes input from all sides, and tries to find common ground. I am proud of the hard work that went into this effective and efficient solution, and I am pleased with today's outcome. Personally, I would like to acknowledge the efforts of the regional offices of the BLM and FWS. While we had our disagreements during this process, I hope this effort has re-enforced a strong working relationship."