ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — U.S. officials have listed a freshwater mussel species from New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico as an endangered species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued the listing last week for the Texas hornshell drawing praise from environmentalists and scorn from at least one Republican congressman.
Michael Robinson at the Center for Biological Diversity says the listing gives the unique mussel an excellent chance of survival "in the face of would-be dam-builders and polluters."
But Congressman Steve Pearce, a Hobbs, New Mexico, Republican, says the listing could harm local communities, businesses, jobs, and may reduce New Mexico's revenues from local energy production. He says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued the decision despite a lack of scientific information.
The hornshell was once found throughout the Rio Grande drainage.