Mogollon Rim Followup Case
February 12, 2020 – Advocates for the West filed suit against the Forest Service over its inadequate NEPA and ESA analysis for a new grazing decision affecting the Bar X grazing allotment, just below Arizona’s scenic Mogollon Rim. The Forest Service has decided to expand grazing on the allotment and reopen areas that have been closed to grazing since the late 70s. These areas were closed after severe overgrazing destroyed soil and vegetation and displaced wildlife such as deer, elk, and turkeys. The closures allowed these species to return in strong numbers and the vegetation to flourish.
In 2018, we sued and won over the Forest Service’s reopening of these grazing areas, with the agency agreeing to stay within permit limits until it completed a NEPA analysis. Unfortunately, the Forest Service’s analysis does not adequately address significant effects to soils, vegetation, and wildlife, nor does it take into account the severe effects of grazing on the well-being of nearby communities. The analysis also seriously understates the impacts to ESA-listed species such as the Mexican spotted owl and the narrow-headed gartersnake.