Skip to comments.Feds backtrack on endangered-lizard listing
Posted on 06/13/2012 1:52:26 PM PDT by jazusamo
The Obama administration backtracked Wednesday and announced it will not declare the dunes sagebrush lizard an endangered species, saying voluntary efforts by New Mexico and Texas have headed off the need for the federal government to step in.
The listing of the lizard as endangered become a major test case of the Endangered Species Act as energy companies and local residents battled the federal government for 18 months, declaring victory after the government said it wouldnt invoke the act.
Environmental groups criticized the move, saying the Interior Department ignored the science that shows the lizards habitat is threatened which they said should automatically trigger the act.
But Secretary Ken Salazar said that by letting local ranchers and energy companies work out voluntary conservation agreements with the two states, they will end up protecting nearly 90 percent of the lizards habitat, which he said is the fundamental goal of the federal endangered species law.
The effort is nothing short of historic, he said.
He called the deal a template for working on endangered species conflicts in other parts of the country. That could be welcome news to landowners and businesses that have grown increasingly worried about clashing with the Obama administration over the Endangered Species Act.
The dune sagebrush lizard lives in shinnery oak grasslands in New Mexico and Texas areas that are also being explored for oil and natural gas. In December 2010 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the lizard as endangered, which would trigger special habitat protections.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Sounds like someone got paid off.
Only because it's an election year and one of NM's senators (Bingaman) is retiring. Putting the bite on the one sector of NM's economy that's actually putting money in the state treasury would backfire badly in the fall. As the full article says, the feds can revisit this later and still could list it if they determine conservation agreements aren't working.
I’m thinking that endangered lizard in the White House is going to need some electoral protection by November.
Yep, when they mentioned they could come back later with a listing kinda jumped out at me and the election coming up makes sense.
Thanks for the links, I’ll check them out.
Looks like a few other posters on this thread feel like I do about this -- HIGHLY skeptical.
EVERYTHING about Obama's Interior Dept is anti-human, anti-growth. That they side with us on this lizard issue has me extremely suspicious. It's probably as Cedar Dave says: pure politics.
Anyway, I'm back again for a few days. FReep with ya later!
Only because it’s an election year and zippie plans to soon have more flexibility to reverse this .