New Mexico water official moves to clarify ranchers' rights
June 23, 2017
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's top water manager has fired the latest salvo in a battle with the federal government over the protection of an endangered mouse and the barring of livestock from certain streams and watering holes on national forest land.
State Engineer Tom Blaine is offering licenses to ranchers that clarify their water rights and allow them to use all sources of surface water on their grazing allotments.
Access to watering holes on the Lincoln National Forest has been an issue since federal managers began ordering closures and installing fences in the Lincoln and Sa...