Tuesday, June 21, 2016

USCA encouraged by New Mexico governor's outreach on water, ESA issues

Following the producer-driven success of the non-listing of the greater sage grouse, the United States Cattlemen’s Association remains actively engaged on issues concerning species and livestock interaction. USCA is encouraged by a recent visit from New Mexico Gov. Susan Martinez’s to local producers in order to discuss solutions on both water policy issues and endangered species concerns affecting the state. Recently, Gov. Martinez, State Water Engineer Tom Blaine, State Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte and Director of Game and Fish Alexa Sandoval met with New Mexico producers to discuss the ranching community’s concerns regarding the listing of the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species and associated water use concerns that result from critical habitat designation. USCA Public Lands Committee Chair Bert Paris commented on the issue, “USCA encourages Gov. Martinez and state officials to continue the conversation, and involvement, of the livestock sector on issues affecting both public and private land users. New Mexico’s current concerns regarding the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse are similar to those of the greater sage grouse and lesser prairie-chicken. We are confident that there are ways to protect critical habitat without limiting livestock watering, nor affecting private water rights. “Through working together on the ground, knowledgeable parties can develop solutions that balance these multiple interests. Successful conservation of species habitat starts with on-the-ground users, including ranchers. However, it is difficult to create solutions that fit each impacted sector when working in an office far removed from the issue. Through hard work and cooperation, we are confident a solution can be reached. It is critical that people not only work together, but that they do so with an objective of reaching solutions that work for both habitat and land users...more

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