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[CDT-L] Malpais & Water

On the west side of the Malpais I met a rancher. He spent an hour or more 
enumerating the reasons he was unhappy with the NPS. One sore spot he 
recounted was that the NPS was eradicating all man made stock ponds and 
water sources within the Monument's boundary adjacent to his land. This has 
placed increased pressure on his small ranch and BLM leased land. Seems all 
the wildlife including antelope, deer, turkey, etc. visit his property for 
water, and while watering they impact his land and resources. Needless to 
say he's pissed off cause the increased demands on his land will no longer 
be able to support his way of life. He feels like he's being run off his own 
land intentionally, and I don't fault him for feeling threatened or 
defensive. Wouldn't you feel the same if your way of life was at stake?

Most but not all ranchers are good stewards of the earth. I've found this 
especially true in New Mexico where springs and some riparian areas are 
protected from livestock. One thing hikers have to remember is water is in 
the deserts, especially in New Mexico, because of ranching.
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