Re: the Nov. 20 article "The rural cow-pocalypse you aren't hearing about."

The difficulties the Hatch family has had dealing with roaming cows and the lack of legal ways to stop those cows from harming their private lands is also happening at the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (SPRNCA) - public lands that belong to all of us. The SPRNCA was set aside, in part, to protect it from the devastating impacts of livestock grazing. In spite of federal laws protecting this rare riparian gem in Southern Arizona, cows and their "sign" are often found in the San Pedro River, along its banks and in the uplands. The BLM can do little to prevent the trampled stream banks and vegetation, or the E. coli contamination of the water from these trespass cows, placing the true costs of livestock grazing on the public. Meanwhile, the ranchers get sweetheart deals from the feds and don't even have to keep their cows where they belong.

Cyndi Tuell, AZ and NM Director of Western Watersheds Project


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