Gazette uncritically repeated Lamborn's misinformation on Preble's mouse, asserted without evidence that ESA "is exploited by activists to stop growth"

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An article in The Gazette of Colorado Springs uncritically repeated Republican 5th Congressional District candidate Doug Lamborn's statement that he is "not convinced" the Preble's meadow jumping mouse is "a species that is separate from other species." In fact, advocates for protection of the mouse argue that it is a distinct subspecies -- a position consistent with the finding of a government-commissioned panel of experts.

An article in the October 7 edition of The Gazette of Colorado Springs by reporter Ed Sealover uncritically repeated 5th Congressional District candidate Doug Lamborn's (R) misleading statement that he is "not convinced" that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse is "a species that is separate from other species." The Gazette left Lamborn's statement unchallenged despite the fact the advocates for continuing to protect the mouse under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) argue not that it is a distinct species, but that it is a distinct subspecies. Moreover, The Gazette made no mention of the fact that a federally commissioned panel of scientific experts unanimously concluded in July that the Preble's mouse should retain its classification as a distinct subspecies.

The article also stated without evidence or further explanation that the ESA "is exploited by activists to stop growth." The Gazette did not attribute this statement to Lamborn but simply asserted it as fact.

From Sealover's October 7 Gazette article, "Taxes, alternative energy priorities in 5th District race":

Lamborn cited a need to reform the Endangered Species Act to allow freer real estate development. The law is exploited by activists to stop growth, and Lamborn would call hearings and lobby agencies to lighten up restrictions such as those protecting the habitat of Preble's jumping mouse.

"I'm still not convinced that is a species worth saving, a species that is separate from other species," he said of the mouse that has vexed Colorado developers.

The state senator suggested he could help to guide contracts to local defense businesses if given a seat on the House Armed Services Committee. Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert recently told Lamborn he would work with House leaders to get him that post.

In addition to simply asserting that the ESA "is exploited by activists to stop growth," The Gazette failed to point out -- as Colorado Media Matters has here, here and here -- that an independent panel of biologists commissioned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrote in July, "In the case of the Preble's Meadow Jumping Mouse ... the panel unanimously conclude that the weight of evidence currently clearly supports retention of the subspecies as a valid taxon." The panel concluded that a study by Dr. Tim King of the U.S. Geological Survey that determined the mouse was a distinct subspecies was correct. The panel further concluded that an earlier study in which biologist and former Denver Museum of Nature & Science curator Rob Roy Ramey determined that the mouse was not a distinct subspecies was flawed.

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