A federal judge granted Texas Comptroller Susan Comb's request to intervene in a lawsuit over the dunes sagebrush lizard.
Two environmental groups have challenged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service's decision not to list the species as threatened or endangered. The lizard's habitat includes many counties southwest of Lubbock and in the Permian Basin.
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras agreed to hear from those who would be directly affected if the lizard is listed as endangered.
Combs said the decision ensures that stakeholders who worked on a conservation plan, such as farmers, ranchers, and oil and gas producers, have a say in the court proceedings.