Gila cattle slaughter lawsuit settled

The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association and others recently announced that they have settled the lawsuit filed to prevent the United States Forest Service from shooting cattle from a helicopter in the Gila Wilderness.

In February, the USFS shot 63 head of stray cattle, and have now withdrawn the decision memorandum on which it relied to authorize that shooting campaign. Under the terms of the settlement, USFS agreed it will give 75 days notice before commencing any future helicopter sniper operations. It may only do so if it satisfies the procedural and substantive requirements to justify such an action.

“The Forest Service has agreed it won’t be able to continue shooting cattle without first being accountable for complying with the law,” said Loren Patterson, NMCGA president. “New Mexico’s producers want to have a permanent seat at the table regarding such decisions, we believe this settlement is progress in the right direction.”