US Forest Service announces culling of 150 feral cows in New Mexico national forest

The United States Forest Service announced this week that it will begin culling 150 feral cattle currently roaming the Gila National Forest in New Mexico this week in order to protect the wilderness and visitors to the forest.

According to the Thursday announcement from the Gila National Forest, “These feral cattle are not domesticated animals and pose a significant threat to public safety and natural resources.” The area will be closed to visitors during the culling, which will be carried out by aerial shooters who will locate and shoot the cattle from helicopters over the forest. Gila National Forest Supervisor Camille Howes explained, “This has been a difficult decision, but the lethal removal of feral cattle from the Gila Wilderness is necessary to protect public safety, threatened and endangered species habitats, water quality, and the natural character of the Gila Wilderness.”

The cattle have trampled natural springs and stream banks, and been aggressive toward guests and other wildlife in the forest, according to Howes. The cattle also graze year-round, depleting the natural resources and preventing regrowth. 

The Forest Service says it will leave the downed cattle in the forest to decompose naturally, and says it will ensure no cattle carcasses are left near waterways or other sensitive resources. Officials say 150 is the best estimate as to how many cattle will be included, but it is not possible to get an exact number yet.




The following two tabs change content below.
Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

Leave a Reply