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WASHINGTON – On November 2, 2012, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) joined Representatives Rob Bishop (R-UT) and Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) in asking Director Daniel Ashe of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to provide a 90 day extension to the comment period for the Proposed Rule on Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Proposed Threatened Status for Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle and Designation of Critical Habitat.

In a letter written to Ashe, these three members of the Utah delegation identify the complexity of the proposed designation of critical habitat, the requirement that comments be highly technical in nature, and the need for the Service to make cited sources available to the public as reasons for the proposed extension. 

On November 23, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service made the cited sources available to the public leaving only 10 days for the public to make informed comments on this proposal before the comment period closes on December 3. 

“An initial review of the proposal to list the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle as a threatened species and the designation of critical habitat indicates that this listing could essentially shut down one of Utah’s popular state parks,” Lee said.  “Because this listing could shut down the Coral Pink Sand Dunes for recreational use, a thorough analysis of whether this species truly warrants the powerful protections of the Endangered Species Act is necessary.  I am hopeful that the Fish and Wildlife Service will provide a 90 day extension to the comment period to give the public the time it needs to evaluate this proposal.”

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