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Senators sign letter regarding lizard

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Daily Press Staff Writer

With less than a month before the Director of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service must decide whether or not to list the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard, commonly referred to as the Sand Dune Lizard, as an endangered species, New Mexico Senators Tom Udall and Jeff Bingaman jointly signed a letter encouraging USFWS Director Daniel Ashe to temporarily delay the decision.

The letter applauds the USFWS for extending the initial public comment period concerning the proposal to list the species and for holding public hearings in New Mexico and Texas to gather additional input. In addition, the letter reads, “Your commitment to using the best available scientific information is vital to the listing process and we appreciate your continued commitment to using the best science.”

The letter states the Senators understand Ashe has the authority to temporarily delay the final listing decision if there is a dispute between the scientific data relating to the merits of a listing in competing peer-reviewed studies.

“We would encourage you to use this authority if you believe that such a dispute exists and additional time is necessary to resolve any outstanding issues,” the letter reads. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.

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