New Mexico Weighs Legal Action in Federal Land Dispute

Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:18 PM

By Melanie Batley

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
New Mexico ranchers are infuriated with the U.S. Forest Service for refusing to open a gate blocking their cattle from reaching water. But they are leaning toward taking a legal route to resolve issues to avoid an armed showdown similar to the clash at Cliven Bundy's ranch in Nevada last month.

According to The Washington Times, Otero Country officials say they're exploring possible criminal and civil sanctions against federal agencies, while the ranching community is putting pressure on Congress to speak up for the interests of cattle owners.

"It's time for a congressional inquiry into this and probably a committee hearing somewhere in the West to deal with this, because it's not just here. It's Utah. It's Nevada. It's what's going on in Texas," Albuquerque attorney Blair Dunn, who's representing Otero County in the matter, told the Times.

The federal government says that metal fences and locked gates put up by the Forest Service were merely replacing longstanding barbed-wire enclosures and are needed to protect wetland habitat in accordance with planning regulations, according to the Times.

Ranchers, however, insist the area had been opened up for years every spring to allow cattle access to the creek, which is also used by elk, deer, and wild hogs. The new fencing is short enough to allow elk and deer to leap over, but too tall for cattle to get access, according to the Times.

Otero County Commissioners said in a statement last week after a meeting convened by the U.S. attorney that they were "frustrated and disappointed by the inability of the USFS to work cooperatively in any meaningful way," after federal officials refused to remove the pipe fencing that is blocking cattle from reaching the watering hole.

Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers' Association, told the Times that the issue is just another example of an ongoing struggle between the federal government and people who make their living off the land.

"This whole federal lands abuse — and there's no other term for it — has been something that has been building for years," Cowan said. "Basically, we feel like here in the West, and particularly in New Mexico, we're almost under siege with the federal government trying to drive us off the land."

Related Stories:


© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Defiant Michael Bloomberg Flying to Tel Aviv to Protest FAA Ban

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 22:58 PM

A defiant former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – in "solidarity with the Israeli people" – announced Tuesday nig . . .

Law Prof: Dueling ACA Rulings More About Federal Agencies' Power

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 22:28 PM

George Washington University Law School professor Jonathan Turley says the conflicting rulings on Obamacare subsidies ha . . .

Jeff Sessions to House GOP: Reject Obama's $3.7B Border Request

Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 21:54 PM

Sen. Jeff Sessions on Tuesday urged House Republicans to reject President Barack Obama's $3.7 billion emergency request  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved