In January 2016, the Santa Fe National Forest issued a draft Environmental Analysis for the New Mexico Jumping Mouse Critical Habitat Protection Project. The closure addresses the endangered species listing for the NM Meadow Jumping Mouse (NMMJM). This closure applies to all users, including anglers and birdwatchers.
Critical habitat for the jumping mouse includes what once was the best brown trout fishery in the state. The stream has made a remarkable recovery since cattle were excluded in mid-2014. Complete closure penalizes anglers and other non-consumptive users for damage caused by cattle
New Mexico Trout’s analysis of the plan is summarized below:
- The NMMJM is endangered because cattle grazing in riparian areas has destroyed its habitat.
- Recreational uses – such as angling, bird watching and nature photography – have not caused this habitat loss.
- There is no scientific justification for locking out non-consumptive recreational users.
The NMT Board of Directors provided comment on this environmental assessment and proposed plan in a letter to the Santa Fe National Forest Ranger.