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Rancher Who Struck Wolf To Appeal Permit Cancellation

A rancher in New Mexico is facing the loss of his grazing permit for trapping and striking a Mexican gray wolf, an endangered species.  

Craig Thiessen had a grazing permit for part of the Gila National Forest in western New Mexico. Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to trapping the wolf and hitting it with a shovel back in 2015. Theissen told the Arizona Republic he let the wolf go, and federal officials told the paper the wolf later died.

Marta Call, a spokeswoman for the Gila National Forest, said the rancher violated the terms of his grazing permit.

“Each grazing permit states the authorization can be suspended or canceled in the event of a conviction for failure to comply with pertinent federal, state or local laws and regulation,” she said in an interview.

Thiessen paid $2,300 in restitution and is on a year-long probation. He is appealing to keep his grazing permit, a process that could take months.

Bret Jaspers was previously the managing editor for news at WSKG in upstate New York. Before that, he was a producer at WYPR in Baltimore and at Wisconsin Public Radio.His stories have aired on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Here & Now, and also the BBC and Marketplace. Way back when, he started as an intern and fill-in producer at WNYC’s On the Media, and then helped out on The Brian Lehrer Show and Soundcheck.When he's not covering the news, he's probably running, reading, or eating. Jaspers is also a member of Actors' Equity Association, the union for professional stage actors.