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U.S. agencies are trying to open up rare lizard habitats to oil and gas

Carlsbad, New Mexico (AP)-Federal wildlife managers could further jeopardize rare lizard habitats found only in parts of southeastern New Mexico and western Texas, environmentalists say We are considering granting a permit to the landowners of the Permian Basin.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service will accept comments on the proposal until December 21st.

The permit is available to landowners participating in a candidate conservation agreement with the federal government. The permit covers situations where sage brush lizards in the dunes were injured or killed during oil and gas operations, sand mining, renewable energy development, agriculture or construction activities.

Lizards, a candidate for federal protection for nearly 20 years, have not yet been added to the list of endangered and endangered species.

It lives between dunes and shiny oak. We are active from April to October.

Federal biologists say the main threat to lizards is the loss of habitat associated with oil and gas development and sand mining. As a result, reptile habitats are more fragmented.

The federal government relies on conservation agreements calling on landowners to take action to protect lizards and their home ranges as a way to postpone lists that restrict access to a wide range of the country’s most active lands. I will.Cher play

The proposed permit allows development on 54 square miles (140 square kilometers) across six counties in western Texas, and in exchange for complying with many protection requirements, land ownership, whether or not the species is listed. We guarantee that you will not be subject to federal regulations. The permit is valid for up to 23 years or until it is handed over by the permit.

Habitat destruction is permanent, but the move is a concern because the conservation agreement is at its discretion, said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biodiversity.

“The guarantee isn’t very guaranteed,” Robinson told Carlsbad Current-Argus. “This allows for continued destruction and fragmentation of the habitat of endangered lizards.”

Robinson said a federal listing of endangered sand dune sage brush lizards is needed to prevent extinction.

Proponents of the oil and gas industry have touted the proposed permit as a way to achieve continued economic development while balancing environmental issues.

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz said in a statement that the move would help maintain state-level decision-making and avoid federal intervention. He said that only a few of the species listed as endangered or endangered have recovered so far.

“Listing lizards under the Endangered Species Act has a devastating impact on private property owners across West Texas, the Texas economy, and national energy security, while protecting and restoring wildlife. Neither can we achieve the desired results of both, “he said.

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U.S. agencies are trying to open up rare lizard habitats to oil and gas

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