PEARCE: FOREST SERVICE WORKING WITH LOCAL RANCHERS IS A GOOD START

May 23, 2013

Washington, DC (May 23, 2013) - Today, U.S. Congressman Steve Pearce issued the following statement about the recent controversy over the US Forest Service’s decision to impound animals grazing in the Lincoln National Forest:

“My office has heard from ranchers and livestock owners concerned over protection of their ability to legally graze animals on public land,” Pearce said. “I have been assured by the Forest Service that individuals grazing their animals legally can continue to do so without issue.  I appreciate the Forest Service meeting with local stakeholders, and I hope that we can avoid a situation like the one we faced in Rio Arriba County last year, where the county government and ranchers sued the Forest Service over decreased grazing access.”

The Forest Service recently noted that some animals have been illegally grazing on public land, and threatened to impound animals in violation of grazing laws.  Local ranchers and livestock owners expressed concern over inappropriate impounding or punishment for those with permits.  The Forest Service is working with concerned parties, and has promised that those acting within the law will not be affected.