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Coalition wins judgement in lawsuit over grazing on San Pedro riparian area

A coalition of conservation groups has reached a settlement on grazing near the San Pedro River in southern Arizona.

The settlement has been a long time in the making.

When Congress created the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area in the late-80s, the Bureau of Land Management was supposed to create a management plan.

Conservationists urged the BLM to exclude four grazing permits from the plan, but when the agency submitted its proposal in 2019, the allotments were still in place. The coalition sued.

"And they’re going to have to go out and actually look for those cows, and then, try to get those cows out of the river. Because you know, a cow, in a riparian area, even for just a day, can do a significant amount of damage," said Cyndi Tuell of the Western Watersheds Project.

She says the river is home to a number of endangered species.

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Ron Dungan was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2020 to 2024.