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Lamborn takes another shot at Preble’s meadow jumping mouse

Author: Joey Bunch - July 20, 2018 - Updated: August 7, 2018

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Preble's meadow jumping mousePreble’s meadow jumping mouse (Photo courtesy of the U.S, Fish and Wildlife Service)

After efforts failed this year to remove the Preble’s meadow jumping most from the federal threatened species list, U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn is trying to make federal money that protects it extinct.

The Republican from Colorado Springs got an amendment into the proposed Interior Department budget this week to prohibit using its budget to enforce the threatened species listing for the mouse, which has had federal protections for 20 years.

In a press release, his office said, “The scientific facts do not justify the millions of taxpayer dollars that go toward protecting a rodent that roams throughout half of the North American continent.”

In April the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, rejected an effort by the Pacific Legal Foundation to delist the mouse, saying they provided no new information to support a change in status. The request argued that the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse “is not a legitimate subspecies of one of the largest and most widespread genetic lineages of North American jumping mice and therefore asserted that the mouse is not a listable entity under the ESA.”

“The restrictions remove land from productive use, all in the cause of protecting a mouse that actually belongs to one of the largest and most widespread genetic lineages of North American jumping mice,” the foundation argued.

Lamborn was one of the Republican members of Congress who backed the Pacific Legal Foundation’s unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn Obamacare’s individual mandate to obtain health insurance in 2013.

Lamborn also authored an amendment this week to withhold money from enforcing protections for any threatened species or endangered species listing that has not been reviewed in the previous five years.

Colorado’s seven House members voted along party lines on both amendments.

“Federal funding should be fiscally disciplined and responsible,” Lamborn said in a statement. “That’s the standard for this legislation. I included two amendments that are important to Colorado. The first prevents more money from being spent on enforcing the designation of the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse as threatened.

“Since it’s designation, the Preble’s Meadow Jumping Mouse has been a costly burden for Colorado. Similarly, hundreds of animals on the threatened species list have not undergone review in years while the Endangered Species Act clearly lays out a five-year review requirement.”

This nocturnal mouse is found in heavily vegetated stream banks  along the Front Range foothills of Wyoming south to Colorado Springs, dining on insects, fungus and seeds.

Lamborn has been trying to get the mosuse delisted for years, citing the millions in taxpayer dollars spent to protect it.

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.