Small lizard is losing in battle with companies
Re: Aug. 20 article, “West Texas sand rush exposes faults in state’s lizard protection plan.”
So, the state’s much-vaunted plan to avoid regulation and protect a rare species has run off the rails. How’s that for voluntary conservation by industry?
We were all told that companies engaged in fracking operations in the Permian Basin would go out of their way to protect the habitat of the dunes sagebrush lizard. Now, we learn that sand mining companies are digging into the heart of the lizard’s sensitive habitat, creating pits 80 feet deep.
Surely it’s obvious this native species will go extinct if this practice continues.
We’d all like to believe that corporations can be good citizens, but let’s be frank: In a choice between lucrative contracts and a small brown lizard struggling to survive, which is likely to win?
This sad case is a vivid reminder of why our country needs the Endangered Species Act and a strong U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to enforce it. JOAN MARSHALL, AUSTIN