Black Mountain Sand’s Chief Commercial Officer Hayden Gillespie recently sat down with Texas Standard’s Natalie Krebs to discuss one of West Texas’s challenges, the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL).
Texas Standard is produced in the state capital in collaboration with KUT Austin, KERA North Texas, Houston Public Media and Texas Public Radio San Antonio, as well as news organizations across Texas, Mexico, and the United States.
The Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL) is indigenous to the shinnery oak dunes of southeastern New Mexico and West Texas. USFWS proposed listing the DSL as an endangered species in 2010 amid worries that oil and gas activity within the Permian Basin could threaten the species’ survival. In June 2012, the Texas Conservation Plan was formed through a state-led voluntary conservation effort. This landmark agreement encourages property owners to enroll land within the plan in exchange for coverage if the DSL is listed under the enhancement of survival permits pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act.
In August 2017, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, in conjunction with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), granted Black Mountain Sand’s Vest and El Dorado frac sand mines a Certificate of Inclusion into the Texas Conservation Plan (TCP) for the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard (DSL).
Prior to entering the Texas Conservation Plan, Black Mountain Sand committed to limiting its mining plans to areas completely outside of the mapped habitat established in 2012. With its entry into the TCP it has also agreed to fund research, dedicate acreage to a conservation easement, and conduct its mining operations by an agreed upon, environmentally sensitive protocol.