(San Francisco – June 13, 2012) Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) supports the decision announced today by the Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) to not list the dunes sagebrush lizard as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The FWS has worked to establish candidate conservation agreements for habitat protections on private lands, to cover 90 percent of the range of the dunes sagebrush lizard in New Mexico and 70 percent of the range in West Texas.
"The Fish and Wildlife Service announcement is proof that working with landowners can pay big dividends for wildlife and keep species off the endangered list. Over half of America's endangered wildlife depends on privately owned or managed land for their viability. That is why farmers, ranchers and landowners are essential allies in the effort to ensure that as our nation grows, we still have abundant wildlife populations to enjoy. Give them the tools and incentives – like candidate conservation agreements – and they will provide well-managed habitat at the scales needed today. The pro-active approach embraced here by industry, landowners and the Fish and Wildlife Service is an important component in meeting the needs of our nation in a way that benefits wildlife, is cost effective and respects landowners."
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