Common Ground Prevails, Thousands of Jobs Saved

Dunes Sage Brush Lizard Will Not Be Listed Under Endangered Species Act


Washington, DC (June 13, 2012) Today, Congressional Western Caucus Members Congressmen Steve Pearce (NM-02), Mike Conaway (TX-11), Francisco Canseco (TX-23), and Randy Neugebauer (TX-19) released the following statements regarding the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement that the dunes sage brush lizard will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act:


“For nearly two years, we have fought against the unnecessary listing of 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 so tirelessly fought to save regional jobs and our way of life. 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.  This process 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.” Congressman Steve Pearce (NM-02)


“It is a good day for West Texas.  By preventing this listing, our oil and gas producers, ranchers and land owners will be able to continue doing what they do best – providing the fuel and food this nation needs.  The decision announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) today will allow them to continue operations without interruption or delay.  I deeply appreciate the many local stakeholders who engaged in difficult negotiations with the leadership of Fish and Wildlife.  They worked tirelessly to find a reasonable compromise that would satisfy the agency’s concerns while protecting their ability to continue using the land in a responsible manner.  I am hopeful that in the future Fish and Wildlife will look first to negotiate voluntary agreements with local communities, rather than dictate blanket orders from Washington.” – Congressman Mike Conaway (TX-11)


“I’m pleased with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s announcement that the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard will be kept off the Endangered Species List.  After a year and a half of helping lead the fight against this listing, this is great news for West Texas and the Permian Basin.  Had the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard been put on the Endangered Species List, it would have shut down oil and gas production in the area and resulted in the loss of thousands of good-paying jobs. Finally, common sense and sound science have prevailed in Washington DC.” – Congressman Francisco “Quico” Canseco (TX-23)


“I am extremely pleased that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that the historic voluntary conservation agreements in Texas and New Mexico were sufficient to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard.  Listing the species for protection under the Endangered Species Act would have had unprecedented effects on energy producers, ranchers, and farmers.  This decision shows how voluntary conservation can produce beneficial results for everyone.” - Congressman Randy Neugebauer (TX-19)