New Mexico

New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association

The New Mexico Cattle Growers Association Is A Nonprofit That Says Its Goal Is “To Promote And Protect The Cattle Industry” 

New Mexico Cattle Growers Association Is A “Grass-Roots Organization” That Promotes And Protects The New Mexico Cattle Industry

The NMCGA Says It Is “A Grass-roots, Membership-based Organization With Some 20 Committees Addressing The Issues That Affect Ranchers And Private Property Owners Daily.” “NMCGA has been the voice of the beef industry in New Mexico since 1914. With members in 32 of the state’s 33 counties as well as 19 other states, the Association represents cattlemen and their supporters from the Roundhouse in Santa Fe to the halls of Congress and everywhere in between. Wherever the arena for the livestock industry, be it regulatory, statutory or the courts, NMCGA is there. NMCGA is a grass-roots, membership-based organization with some 20 committees addressing the issues that affect ranchers and private property owners daily ranging from Theft & Health to Promotion & Marketing to Wildlife and much more. The Board of Directors is a diverse group representing every corner of the state ranging from Silver City to Amistad and Loving to La Plata. The Executive Committee is made up of regional vice presidents as well as the president, president-elect, secretary-treasurer and the two immediate past presidents.” [About NMCGA, 02/19/16]

NMCGA Says Its Mission “Is To Promote And Protect The Cattle Industry In New Mexico.” “To promote and protect the cattle industry in New Mexico by providing a unified voice on issues of economic importance to the New Mexico cattle industry.” [NEW MEXICO CATTLE GROWERS ASSOCIATION Guidestar Profile, accessed 09/17/19]

NMCGA Is Partially Funded By The Oil Industry

The New Mexico Oil And Gas Association Is A “Premier Sponsor” Of NMCGA

In The June Issue Of New Mexico Stockmen, The NWCGA Thanked The New Mexico Oil & Gas Association For Becoming A “Premier Sponsor Of NMCGA. “Thanks to NMCGA’s latest Premier Sponsor! The NMCGA is proud to announce that the New Mexico Oil & Gas Association (NMOGA) has signed on as a Premier Sponsor of the NMCGA and its programs. It becomes increasingly clear that natural resource users are to rise or fall as a group. It is well known that from time to time agriculture and oil and gas don’t see eye to eye on some issues. Over the past few years both NMCGA and NMOGA have worked together to address those issues and look forward to ever better relationships.” [New Mexico Stockman05/30/19]

The NMCGA Wants States To Take Over Federal Public Lands

NMCGA Supports State Management Of Federal Public Land 

Caren Cowan, NMCGA’s Executive Director, Said The Association Also Wanted The State To Examine The Possibility Of Transferring Federal Lands To State Management. “The association also wants the state to examine the possibility of transferring some federal lands to state management, she said. ‘We always feel that management closer to home is the best management.’” [The Santa Fe New Mexican02/01/17]

Cowan Commented On A Defense Bill, Stating “It Should Not Be A Bargaining Chip For Land Grabs” Said “Working On Land Packages In This Manner Does A Disservice To The Land And The People Who Enjoy It.”  In December 2014, a defense bill under consideration included transferring 140 miles of a national preserve in New Mexico to the National Park Service. “Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, which represents thousands of ranchers in the state and has been a vocal critic of what she considers federal overreach in the West. This is a continuation of the governance by blackmail,” Cowan said. ‘The national defense authorization is vital to our nation and those who serve in the military. It should not be used as a bargaining chip for land grabs. Working on land packages in this manner is a disservice to the land and the people who enjoy it.’ [Associated Press, 12/03/14]

NMCGA Wanted To Get Rid Of Monument Designations, Including Organ Pipes-Desert Peaks And Grand Staircase-Escalante

NMCGA Urged Donald Trump To Eliminate Specific “Large-Scale National Monuments”

NMCGA Urged Trump To “Eliminate Certain Large-Scale National Monuments, Including The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks (OMDP) National Monument.” “The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association is urging President Donald Trump to eliminate certain large-scale national monuments, including the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]

  • NMCGA Asked New Mexico Representative Steve Pearce To Address It With Trump. The NMCGA in a recent letter asked Congressman Steve Pearce, R-N.M., to raise the issue of national monuments’ sizes with Trump.” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]

NMCGA President Pat Boone Criticized Monument Designations As “Layers And Layers” Of Bureaucracy And “Harmful”

NMCGA President Pat Boone Said “Layer After Layer Of Bureaucratic Designations Isn’t Often What’s Best For The Land.” NMCGA President Pat Boone of Elida, said most ranchers want what’s best for the land. ‘“But putting layer after layer of bureaucratic designations isn’t often what is best for the land and its creatures,’ he said. ‘Ranchers and other agriculturists have been managing lands in New Mexico for more than 14 generations. If it wasn’t for that stewardship, there likely wouldn’t be pristine lands available today.’” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]

  • Boone Claimed Ranchers Do Not Oppose Monuments That Are “Reasonable” In Size, Cites Grand Staircase Escalante As An Example Of “Controlling The Land.” Boone said ranchers aren’t opposed to monuments that are ‘reasonable’ in size. ’Unfortunately more recent monument designations starting back in 1996 with the Grand Staircase Escalante in Utah that encompasses 1,880,461 acres appear to be about controlling the land rather than conserving special places,” he said.” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]
  • Boone Claimed “Vast Designations” Did Not Meet “The Letter, Spirit Or Intent Of The Law.” “Boone said there are several entire ranches within the 776-square-mile OMDP monument designation. The federal Antiquities Act of 1906, which allowed presidents to unilaterally create national monuments, requires that ‘the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected,” the NMCGA notes. ‘It doesn’t seem to me that these vast designations meet the letter, spirit or intent of the law,’ Boone said.” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]

Boone Said He Hoped Trump Would Take Action “To Eliminate Harmful Designations.” “Boone said that, after three years, the Bureau of Land Management has yet to come up with a plan or guidance on how the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks are to be managed as a monument. ‘We sincerely hope that President Trump will consider the people who live and work on the land as he addresses monuments and that he takes action to eliminate harmful designations,’ Boone said.” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]

NMCGA Executive Director Caren Cowan Said Ranchers Felt “Gutted” By Designation. “Ranchers with private landholdings and grazing leases within the monument felt betrayed. ‘The ranching community feels like they’ve been gutted in that area,’ Cowan said. “Generally, this kind of designation is a death knell for ranchers.’” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]

NMCGA Sought “Elimination” Of The Organ Pipes-Desert Peaks Monument

NMCGA Said It Would First Seek “Elimination” Of OMDP And Then A Reduction In Size. “NMCGA said it’s first seeking the elimination of the OMDP monument, but, if that doesn’t happen, they’d back a reduction in its size.” [Las Cruces Sun-News04/13/17]

The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association Worked to Reduce Public Access to New Mexico’s Streams

NMCGA Supported A Bill That Would Prohibit  Access To Public Waterways That Bisect Private Land

In 2015, the New Mexico Senate Passed a Law Prohibiting the Public from Accessing Waterways that Bisect Private Plots. Senate Bill 226 “created ‘liability protection for landowners from recreational users of public water’ and prohibits the public from accessing waterways that bisect private plots. The legislation voided an order by former state Attorney General Gary King that made all New Mexico streams open to the public. [Santa Fe New Mexican09/07/16]

  • The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association Supported the Bill. “Perry said SB 226 protects landowners’ rights to the riverbanks surrounding waterways, as specified in their deeds. He worked with a number of groups, including the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association and the Realtors Association of New Mexico, to get the bill passed and signed into law, he said.” [Santa Fe New Mexican09/07/16]

NMCGA Sued The Fish And Wildlife Service Over The Southwestern Over A Critical Habitat Designation

NMCGA Opposed Designation Of A Critical Habitat Designation For The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher

NMCGA Sued The Fish And Wildlife Service (FWS) Along With Other Groups Over A Critical Designation For The Southwestern Willow Flycatcher In 1998. “However, in 1998 the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association, the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau and several other groups sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over a critical habitat designation for the southwestern willow flycatcher.“ [Associated Press, 08/11/02]

  • The Groups Argued The Federal Government Did Not Properly Consider Economic Impacts. “They argued that the federal government had not properly considered economic impacts. The Endangered Species Act bars major changes to a creature’s territory when water from federal irrigation projects, federal money or other federal actions are involved.” [Associated Press, 08/11/02]
  • The U.S. Court Of Appeal Found In Favor Of The New Mexico Farmers And Ranchers. “Last May, a panel of judges from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver agreed with the New Mexico farmers and ranchers.” [Associated Press, 08/11/02]

NMCGA Was Represented By Karen Budd-Falen, The Current Deputy Solicitor for Parks and Wildlife At Interior

Karen Budd-Falen, The Attorney For The Groups, Said It Had “Created A Storm Of Cases” Where Critical Habitats Were Challenged “Based On The Failure Of The Fish And Wildlife Service To Follow Their Regulations.” Karen Budd-Falen, a Wyoming attorney who handled the flycatcher case for the groups, is preparing to file a new lawsuit in Nebraska. It will challenge the critical habitat for the piping plover on behalf of a coalition of Nebraska farm groups.’It certainly has created a storm of cases where people challenge critical habitat based on the failure of the Fish and Wildlife Service to follow their regulations,’ she said.” [Associated Press, 08/11/02]

Budd-Falen Claimed “This Is Absolutely A National Issue, Not Just A West Phenomenon.” “This is absolutely a national issue, not just a West phenomenon.” [Associated Press, 08/11/02]

  • “The ruling also changed the way the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designates a critical habitat.” [Associated Press, 08/11/02]

NMCGA Supports Building A Wall Along The US-Mexico Border

NMCGA Wants A Wall Built Along The US-Mexico Border Because “No One Is Safe Without A Gun” 

NMCGA Released A Statement On The Border Wall That Claimed “No One Is Safe Without A Gun.” “New Mexico and Arizona border ranchers have serious security concerns on the Mexican border that reach well beyond immigration and border wall issues. The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association has had a member murdered on the Arizona side. Another member had an employee kidnapped, beaten and held for days at gunpoint. No one is safe without a gun moving around their home, barns, corrals and pastures. Ranchers empathize and sympathize with those who are seeking asylum. Historically the practice on border ranches was to provide food and water for folks coming across the border. Today that is not safe due to the size and number of groups along with the volume of drugs coming across the border. But while immigration and the wall dominate the national scene and media, we here at home must have safety and security for our children, families and property.” [NMCGA Border Wall Statement, 02/09/19]

NMCGA’s Executive Director Wants To Use Military Funds To Build A Border Wall 

Caren Cowan, Executive Director Of NMCGA, Called Diversion Of Funds From Department Of Defense Projects To Pay For The Border Wall “Appropriate.” “Caren Cowan, executive director of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, called the action ‘appropriate.’ The association has supported building of the wall from the outset as it is comprised of ranchers who live and work near the border.” [InsideSources09/12/19]

  • Cowan Said “It Would Seem Appropriate” To Use Defense Funds. “‘We’re facing a tremendous national security issue on the Mexican border and it would seem appropriate that defense funds are used to defend our country on the southern border,’ Cowan told InsideSources.” [InsideSources09/12/19]
  • Cowan Called Federal Dollars “A Balancing Act,” And That NMCGA’s Members and Their Families “Need To Be Safe.” “When asked if stopping the projects at the two bases was of concern, Cowan said. ‘Unfortunately federal dollars are a balancing act — and it’s all important — but our members on the border need to be safe and their families [as well].’” [InsideSources09/12/19]

Cowan Said “We Need Boots On The Border” At A NMCGA Meeting On Border Issues. ‘You have heard the issues tonight,’ [NMCGA Executive Director Caren] Cowan said. “We need boots on the border. I don’t know how many meetings we’ve had over the past 15 years. With due respect to the federal representatives, we have walked away from these meetings with little or nothing. Erica [Valdez, an Arizona rancher] and I drafted a list of solutions.’” [The Grant Country Beat03/23/16]

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