The Greens filed a lawsuit Dec. 10 in US District Court against 107 ranches in Arizona and New Mexico. The suit demands that all cattle be removed from federal forests along the Verde and Blue rivers, Eagle Creek in Arizona and along the Gila, San Francisco and Tularosa rivers in New Mexico.
Targeted are relatively isolated forests along the Arizona-New Mexico border. Greens are striving to reintroduce large predators such as the Mexican gray wolf, the jaguar and the grizzly.
This suit follows two other suits that would end grazing leases and logging over 11 national forests in the Southwest. They accuse the US Forest Service of violating the ESA, saying the agency failed to protect 18 rare animals and plants.
On Dec. 23rd, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its July injunction that halted logging and voided grazing leases. In an a-typical move, the San Francisco Court ruled in favor of resources, allowing the US Forest Service to resume 16 logging projects and honor 715 grazing leases. These were projects and leases in effect and underway before a June 96 ruling ordering the FS to adopt plans to protect species in these areas.