Skip to content

Heinrich Statement on the U.S. Forest Service’s Decision to Remove Unbranded Feral Cattle in the Gila Wilderness

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) issued the following statement on the Gila National Forest working with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Wildlife Services to remove feral cattle from within the boundaries of the Gila Wilderness:
“For decades, unbranded feral cattle have charged at backpackers and campers and harmed fish and wildlife habitat, native vegetation, and critical water sources within the Gila Wilderness. While the U.S. Forest Service has made many previous non-lethal removal attempts, the feral cattle have continued to injure cattle wranglers, and the dogs and horses involved in the operations. 
“During the most recent public comment period on this issue, the thousands of comments received by the U.S. Forest Service have been overwhelmingly in support of the immediate removal of feral cattle from the Gila National Forest.
“It’s clear there are no easy solutions to this problem. However, the removal of these unbranded, unowned cattle is necessary to address the public threat to users of the Gila National Forest, and to stop the severe ecological damage they cause to one of New Mexico’s most treasured public landscapes.”