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New Mexico ranchers to return cattle to grazing area

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)—The U.S. Forest Service is allowing ranchers to return cattle to grazing leases on one of 17 allotments in New Mexico.

The agency has also agreed to partner with the New Mexico Range Improvement Task force to review data to make a decision on the remaining allotments.

The decision drew praise from two members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation, Reps. Steve Pearce and Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Pearce, a Republican, says it took a bipartisan effort for the agency to reconsider its initial decision to keep ranchers from grazing.

Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, says ranching is a vital aspect of the state’s economy and culture.

Earlier this year, ranchers were ordered to remove livestock from the allotments due to drought. Ranchers complained the action was arbitrary and would lead to economic hardship.

Date: 11/18/2013

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