US agency looks to open rare lizard’s habitat to oil and gas

State & Regional

FILE – In this May 1, 2015, file photo is a Dunes Sagebrush lizard in New Mexico. The Trump administration wants to put greater weight on the economic benefits of development when deciding if land or water should be protected for imperiled species. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP, File)

CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Federal wildlife managers are considering offering permits to landowners in the Permian Basin that environmentalists say could further compromise habitat for a rare lizard found only in parts of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be accepting comments on the proposal through Dec. 21.

The Carlsbad Current-Argus reports that the permits would be available to landowners who are participating in candidate conservation agreements with the federal government.

The permits would cover situations when lizards are harmed or killed during oil and gas operations, sand mining, renewable energy development, agriculture or construction activities.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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