Daily Press Staff Writer

Those with a voice in the Sand Dune Lizard controversy will have a chance to be heard this month.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reopened a public comment period for 30 days on the proposed listing of the sand dune lizard to the endangered species list after “numerous requests,” according to a press release from the Service.

The service will hold a public hearing on the issue at the ENMU-Roswell Performing Arts Center on Thursday, April 28. A hearing will also be held on Wednesday, April 27 at the Midland Center & Centennial Plaza in Midland, Texas.  A public information session will take place at each location from 3:30-5 p.m. with a public hearing to follow from 6:30-8 p.m.

Those opposed to the listing say that protecting the lizard under the Endangered Species Act will severely damage the economy in the southeast region of New Mexico, where oil and gas is a major industry. Others argue that the lizard, which exists only in parts of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas, is in danger of extinction based on threats to its habitat loss. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.