For Immediate Release (Wednesday, June 13, 2012):
For More Information: Ken Kramer, 512-626-4204 (cell)
Statement by Ken Kramer, Director, Lone Star Chapter, Sierra Club on the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Decision Not to List the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard as an Endangered or Threatened Species
“If indeed the voluntary agreements with landowners to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard will be adequate to maintain the species, then they put the lie to the rhetoric from a number of Texas and New Mexico politicians who made outrageous claims about the alleged economic impacts of listing the species.
But let’s be clear that these agreements are voluntary.
That means that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will have to be active in seeing that these agreements are carried out and have the desired results, but the agency will not have the power to enforce the agreements.
That’s the real difference between listing or not listing a species as endangered - not the specific actions to protect a species, which may well be the same in a voluntary agreement or an agency mandate, but the ability to make sure those actions take place.
Basing the fate of the dunes sagebrush lizard solely on voluntary actions puts the species at greater risk.”