Created: 05/31/2014 9:43 AM
By: The Associated Press
ALAMOGORDO, N.M. (AP) — A crowd is expected to gather in southern New Mexico on Saturday to bring attention to disputes between citizens and the federal government over access to water and public lands in New Mexico and across the West.
Otero County leaders say people's rights are being trampled by the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies. They have asked for a congressional hearing and their supporters have invited Gov. Susana Martinez and other elected leaders to the rally.
The gathering in Alamogordo is the latest salvo in a battle over access to the Agua Chiquita, a small spring-fed stream on the Lincoln National Forest.
The Forest Service fenced off the wetland area to protect it. However, drought has forced the spring to recede, putting what's left out of the reach of livestock.
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