Dispute Over Western Mouse Spurs Legal Action

Jul 11, 2014


Environmentalists are accusing the federal government of not doing enough to protect a rare western mouse that's already at the center of a dispute over access to national forest land and water rights.

The New Mexico meadow jumping mouse was recently added to the list of endangered species as a result of a multi-species settlement with the Santa Fe-based environmental group WildEarth Guardians.

The group notified the U.S. Forest Service on Friday it will be suing for greater protections of the mouse's streamside habitat in New Mexico and Arizona. The group says grazing is a threat.

The Forest Service has proposed fencing some areas in the Santa Fe National Forest to keep livestock and campers out.

Ranchers want the agency to find a solution that would allow for grazing while still protecting the mouse.

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