"Enviros Blame Rep. Pearce for Inciting N.M. County to Bulldoze River"

"An environmental group accused Republican Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico of inciting a county in his district to flout federal environmental laws by bulldozing 47 road crossings through a stretch of the San Francisco River in the Gila National Forest."

"County leaders have argued they were maintaining National Forest System roads. The environmental group Center for Biological Diversity disagreed, giving notice (pdf) yesterday to Catron County of its intent to sue for what the group alleges were repeated violations of the Clean Water Act. The notice says the county improperly dumped fill -- and possibly feces from cattle -- in the water.

The group is seeking a full environmental restoration of the disturbed areas and the maximum, $37,500-per-day fine for each violation. At that rate, Catron County, home to 3,400 residents, could face a maximum penalty of tens of millions of dollars, because the bulldozing took place in early-to-mid August."

Paul Quinlan reports for Greenwire October 4, 2011.

Source: Greenwire, 10/05/2011