Rep. Joseph Sanchez/Courtesy Photo
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The U.S. Forest Service and WildEarth Guardians have filed motions in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona asking that a Sept. 12 order be modified to allow personal firewood cutting and gathering to resume on Forest Service land in New Mexico and Arizona.
The WildEarth motion acknowledges that personal firewood cutting is not associated with any possibility of irreparable harm to the Mexican spotted owl or its habitat.
Rep. Joseph Sanchez (Alcalde) said Friday that he had met with WildEarth executive director John Horning. He thanked Sen. Pete Campos, Sen. Richard Martinez and Rep. Bobby Gonzales for supporting his efforts to bring a resolution to the issue.
Sanchez said Thursday that this time of the year is an essential time for many in rural New Mexico to gather firewood for heating and cooking. He said the moratorium on permits could not have come at a worse time and would be devastating to those who depend on firewood for basic survival during the winter. He was optimistic Friday that the issue could be resolved by Monday.