Reps. Gosar, Pearce Cheer Decision to Withdraw Misguided Species Listing

Apr 7, 2017 Issues: Natural Resources, Energy, Public Lands and Water

For Immediate Release

Date: April 7, 2017

Contact: Steven D. Smith

Steven.Smith@mail.house.gov

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Representatives Paul A. Gosar (AZ-04) and Steve Pearce (NM-02) released the following statements after the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) withdrew a proposal to list two Colorado River fish under the Endangered Species Act (ESA):

“I am hopeful that the announcement by the Service to withdraw the proposed listing of the headwater chub and roundtail chub signals a new dawn where commonsense and science drives decision-making within the agency,” stated Congressman Gosar. “For too long, unwarranted species listings—not supported by verifiable evidence—have been detrimental not only to local stakeholders, but also to the species themselves. I’m proud to have teamed up with the Arizona Game and Fish Department and several of my colleagues in the House to help prevent these misguided listing proposals that would have had significant consequences for Arizona and New Mexico.”

“I am pleased to see that the Service withdrew their ill-advised proposal to list the headwater chub and roundtail chub as Endangered Species,” stated Congressman Pearce. “I applaud the agency for listening to input from surrounding communities and for thoroughly examining the science before making their final decision. I look forward to working with the agency and communities in New Mexico going forward to balance environmental protections with economic opportunity.” 

 A spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department released a statement saying, “The Joint Committee’s determination last year, along with today’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decision, is a huge win for chub and for those who manage and conserve chub in the lower Colorado River basin. The taxonomic history of this species has been debated for decades, which has influenced our management strategies and our ability to implement conservation on a range-wide basis. The decision will open doors to more opportunities to protect and conserve chub in Arizona.”

Background:

Congressman Gosar and Congressman Pearce spearheaded an effort to Service Director Dan Ashe raising serious concerns about the process and asking for the Service to withdraw the proposed rule to list the headwater chub and a district population segment of the roundtail chub as threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. That letter can be found HERE.

The letter to Director Ashe was cosigned by Representatives Matt Salmon (AZ-05), Trent Franks (AZ-08) and David Schweikert (AZ-06).

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service responded favorably to the Congressmen’s request by publishing a notice to withdraw the proposed rule to list the headwater chub and roundtail chub under the ESA. That notice can be found HERE.

“For the purposes of our determination, we accept the 'single species' finding by the Societies described above and, consequently, withdraw the proposed rule to list the headwater chub (Gila nigra) and a [distinct population segment] of the roundtail chub (Gila robusta) from the lower Colorado River basin as threatened species under the Act,” the Service wrote in the notice.

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