Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Otero County Defies Forest Service

Otero County, New Mexico Defies Feds

This article caught my eye as I spent six years living in Otero County, and don't you easterners be mislead by the term "county", it's larger than the State of Connecticut.

Commissioners in Otero County voted Monday night to authorize Sheriff Benny House to open a gate allowing nearly 200 head of cattle into the 23-acre area despite Forest Service restrictions.  

The area had been closed by the Forest Service ostensibly to protect the "New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse" which Forest Service Spokesman Mark Chavez said was expected to be listed as an endangered species in June, which would mean those 23 acres would be considered a critical habitat.

Zapus hudsonius luteus

Which is quite funny, since I did a little checking and the US Fish and Wildlife Service states : "The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse (jumping mouse) is endemic to New Mexico, Arizona, and a small area of southern Colorado" 

I also did a little research and found this: 

The meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius) is the most widely distributed mouse in the subfamily Zapodinae. It may be found from the Atlantic coast, to the Great Plains, as far north as the arctic tree lines in Canada and Alaska, and as far south as Georgia, Alabama, Arizona, and New Mexico. 

The meadow jumping mouse is currently not in any kind of danger. According to the IUCN Red list, it is widely spread, common, and not declining throughout most of its extensive range. It is also present in many protected areas, and so does not have any major threats of it becoming an endangered species. 

Yeah, endangered, right.

So what's the problem?

The cows have been stepping on them



No comments: