Southwestern cattle ranchers are in danger. In fact, the very future of southwestern ranching is at stake because of radical environmentalists who are suing the federal agencies that manage grazing allotments in two states.
Center for Biological Diversity claims it is suing to protect habitat for two kinds of garter snakes. In reality, it’s a ploy to force cattle ranchers off federal lands.
Environmentalists claim cattle grazing is harming areas in the Gila River Watershed on the border of Arizona and New Mexico. However, MSLF client Tom Paterson’s record of conservation in the region contradicts their narrative.
Paterson’s Spur Ranch Cattle Company not only raises great cattle, it is a recognized example of land stewardship. He negotiated an agreement with the Fish and Wildlife Service to restore habitat, a project that cost his ranch $1 million.
He’s been recognized as The Outstanding Conservation Rancher for New Mexico, the Tree Farmer of the Year for New Mexico, and Outstanding Conservationist in New Mexico.
“We are committed conservationists. If we don’t take care of the land, it certainly cannot provide for us,” Paterson says.
The Center for Biological Diversity is using the courts to try to force the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to end cattle grazing on federally-managed Arizona and New Mexico lands. The radicals at CBD brag about having already removed grazing from millions of acres of Western lands, but they’re not about to stop.
Unless we can defeat them in court. In March 2020, your support allowed MSLF to file a motion to intervene on behalf of Paterson, three cattle grower’s associations and the New Mexico Coalition of Counties for Stable Economic Growth.
Brian Gregg is an attorney with Mountain States Legal Foundation, specializing in grazing rights and property law.