Nov 30, 2012

Washington, DC (November 30, 2012) – Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce responded to the announcement by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that the Lesser Prairie Chicken is being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act.

“Unfortunately, our jobs and our way of life in southern New Mexico continue to come under assault” said Pearce.  “The prairie chicken is yet another example that federal species regulation is not based on science, but rather driven by lawyers for extreme interest groups, like Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians, who filed the lawsuit in this case.  These groups have filed hundreds of job-killing petitions, often at taxpayer expense, while never having to live with the consequences to the local communities.”

“I am confident that the Fish and Wildlife Service has learned through the dunes sagebrush lizard case that New Mexico successfully protects our species through local, state and regional agreements.  I have always supported these conservation efforts, and I will continue to hold the Fish and Wildlife Service accountable to allow a balanced, local approach that protects the species without threatening New Mexico’s jobs.”

Despite having faced one of the worst droughts on record in recent years, the prairie chicken population is on the rise or holding steady in many parts of the country, suggesting the success of current agreements and calling into question the need for federal regulation.