Congressman Steve Pearce receives a round of applause Thursday night in Roswell at a public hearing concerning the Dunes Sagebrush lizard. (Tyler Green - Daily Press)

Congressman Steve Pearce receives a round of applause Thursday night in Roswell at a public hearing concerning the Dunes Sagebrush lizard. (Tyler Green - Daily Press)

Job protection paramount at public hearing

By TYLER GREEN
Daily Press Staff Writer

It’s official now.

Citizens concerned with listing the Dunes Sagebrush lizard under the Endangered Species Act stated their concerns, for the record, with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service during a public comment session in Roswell Thursday night.

Rallies, letters, commercials, videos and word of mouth discussions all led up to the moment where concerned citizens stood before USFWS officials and unanimously said, “We do not want the lizard listed.”

At the heart of their concerns was, first and foremost, protecting jobs while working with the USFWS to protect the lizard.
Leading up to the public comment session, an anti-lizard listing rally took place a few blocks away inside an airplane hangar where area officials and community leaders from Eddy and adjacent counties took to the podium to speak out against listing the lizard. An enormous American flag hung behind them as several hundred concerned citizens flooded through the hangar doors.

Congressman Steve Pearce, R-N.M., headlined the rally talking about economic chaos and government regulation, such as listing the lizard, that is adding to the problem.

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