USCA Encouraged by New Mexico Governor’s Outreach on Water, ESA Issues
WASHINGTON (June 20, 2016) – Following the producer-driven success of the non-listing of the greater sage grouse, the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) remains actively engaged on issues concerning species and livestock interaction. USCA is encouraged by a recent visit from New Mexico Governor Susan Martinez’s to local producers in order to discuss solutions on both water policy issues and endangered species concerns affecting the state.
Last week, Governor Martinez, State Water Engineer Tom Blaine, State Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte, and Director of Game and Fish Alexa Sandoval met with New Mexico producers to discuss the ranching community’s concerns regarding the listing of the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse as an endangered species and associated water use concerns that result from critical habitat designation.
USCA Public Lands Committee Chair Bert Paris commented on the issue, “USCA encourages Governor Martinez and state officials to continue the conversation, and involvement, of the livestock sector on issues affecting both public and private land users. New Mexico’s current concerns regarding the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse are similar to those of the greater sage grouse and lesser prairie chicken. We are confident that there are ways to protect critical habitat without limiting livestock watering, nor affecting private water rights.”
“Through working together on the ground, knowledgeable parties can develop solutions that balance these multiple interests. Successful conservation of species habitat starts with on-the-ground users, including ranchers. However, it is difficult to create solutions that fit each impacted sector when working in an office far removed from the issue. Through hard work and cooperation, we are confident a solution can be reached. It is critical that people not only work together, but that they do so with an objective of reaching solutions that work for both habitat and land users.”
“Best science and best management practices are important. Practical application and cooperation are key to any successful species conservation. Ranchers are first and foremost stewards of the land and when allowed to, can achieve notable successes when working with conservation and environmental partners. Governor Martinez and New Mexico officials are heading in the right direction in reaching out to the state’s producers to begin a constructive dialogue on this issue.”
“USCA will continue to support private-public partnerships in addressing species listings. A successful outcome is one in which the producer maintains a viable operation, a species is conserved and a meaningful and constructive partnership is created.”
Established in March 2007, USCA is committed to concentrating its efforts in Washington, D.C. to enhance and expand the cattle industry’s voice on Capitol Hill. USCA has a full-time presence in Washington, giving cattle producers across the country a strong influence on policy development. For more information go to www.uscattlemen.org