Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Committee hears from USFS on Meadow Jumping Mouse

ALAMOGORDO – State legislators gathered to listen to both sides of the Meadow Jumping Mouse issue and discuss the impact on the ranchers at the Tays Center Thursday. A group of local ranchers went before the state Legislature's Water and Natural Resources Committee to discuss their side of the issue. "For us, the fences have impacted our operation," said Kelly Goss, of the Sacramento Grazing Association. "They are situation directly across from the pins...the proximity does not allow us to work the cattle and prevents them from encroaching on the enclosures. The electric fences take up a larger area that what we were told they were going to." Another concern Goss discussed was water access. "The federal government has been taking our water for years without due process," she said. "Temporary is never temporary, as we've seen over the years. The federal government is going to continue to take more water in the future. It's going to be difficult in the spring and impossible in the fall to work our cattle. We have continually stated that we must have full use of the Penasco Trap in the fall." Goss said the U.S. Forest Service has stated it is their intent to impede the flow of water in order to spread it out and create habitat. "This is a diversion of water under New Mexico state law," Goss said. "This water belongs to the Sacramento Grazing Association, not the Forest Service."...more

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