BLM halts proposal to spray pesticides in northern New Mexico

[anvplayer video=”5183356″ station=”998122″]

SANTA FE, N.M. – The Bureau of Land Management announced Thursday that a proposed project to curtail a grasshopper infestation in Rio Arriba County will not proceed.

The decision is based on a scientific environmental analysis review. The USDA was reportedly planning to spray pesticides over 25,000 acres of the Rio Chama Watershed.

“Additional environmental analysis and outreach for this project is necessary, and we are dedicated to doing so in an open and transparent manner,” said BLM’s Taos Field Manager Pamela Mathis. “Due to the time needed to carry out additional analysis, the project cannot be achieved this season and will no longer take place. We will continue to work on this important issue in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.”  

Ranchers were concerned about the impact the grasshopper infestation would have on the forage available to their cattle, but the plan created a lot of pushback from conservationists and environmental advocates – pointing to the larger impacts that pesticides could have on the area.

For more information, contact the Taos Field Office at (575) 758-8851.