Key Texas Republicans are pushing legislation to block the listing of four salamanders as endangered species in their home state, which they say would stunt economic development and hinder the creation of new jobs.
Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. John Carter authored the Salamander Community Conservation Act in an attempt to get ahead of the federal listing proposal and allow locals to begin their own preservation efforts.
‚??Our bill will head off a premature listing, allowing conservation efforts already under way to continue without hindering Central Texas from growing and creating jobs,‚?Ě Cornyn said in a statement introducing the bill.
The Fish and Wildlife Service are pursing several new listings in response to massive requests and a lawsuit from environmental groups over the last five years to add 1,230 species to the endangered list.
‚??Endangered species listing decisions should be made with peer-reviewed sound science after ample input from state and local governments and researchers,‚?Ě Carter said. ‚??The ongoing attempts by environmental extremists to circumvent this process through court action cannot be tolerated. This legislation can restore common sense and due process to environmental issues, provide better species protection results and recognize the needs of human beings as well as salamanders.‚?Ě
The federal government in June backed down from listing the sand dune lizards in Texas as endangered, and instead allowed the state and local communities to address the creatures needs while still allowing for oil exploration.
‚??Just as they hastily tried to list the sand dune lizard in west Texas, the administration is again putting the cart before the horse,‚?Ě said Cornyn.
The candidates to be listed include the Austin Blind, Georgetown, Jollyville Plateau and Salado Springs salamanders.