February 24, 2023

Lujan Grisham: Federal agencies are ‘failing New Mexicans’ as cattle shooting operation begins

Center for Biological Diversity

As the federal Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service begins the lethal removal of feral cattle from the Gila Wilderness, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she is disappointed in how the U.S. Forest Service conducted outreach to stakeholders.

The feral cattle, which have been damaging the riparian ecosystem for decades, are being shot by people in helicopters.

The shooting operation began today.

“While I understand the challenge the U.S. Forest Service is rightly trying to solve, I am disappointed in their lack of meaningful, long-term engagement with New Mexico stakeholders on controversial matters like this one,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “Whether debating prescribed burns or wildlife management, it is imperative that New Mexicans who live and work in and near impacted areas are allowed the time to be meaningfully involved in these decisions. When that does not occur, it fosters a continued climate of distrust and hinders progress toward our shared goals of a healthy environment and a thriving rural economy. I have expressed these concerns to U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of Agriculture leadership and I implore the federal government to do better. As it stands, they are failing New Mexicans.”