Officials in a drought-stricken southern New Mexico county object to the Forest Service locking gates that keep ranchers' cattle away from water in a mountain riparian area of the Lincoln National Forest.
The Alamogordo Daily News reports that the Otero County Commission voted Monday to seek a court order for the county sheriff to unlock four gates on Forest Service fences near the Agua Chiquita riparian area.
The county commission in April sent the Forest Service a letter ordering to halt fencing work in the area.
However, Forest Supervisor Travis Mosely told the commission on Monday that the work is legal and necessary to allow multiple uses of forest land and to protect endangered species.
Rancher Judyann Holcomb Medeiros said fencing cattle away from water puts them at risk.
Information from: Alamogordo Daily News.
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