Please Mr. President, consider helping us rural residents of the State of New Mexico to STOP the designation of our local rivers and streams (The San Francisco and Gila rivers and their water sheds) as Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Local environmental groups and our senators Martin Heinrich and Thomas Udall have initiated the process to start this designation without any input from us local land owners who would be directly affected by this designation.

Only the positive results of the designation were presented to local county governments, and none of the negatives. There are many negative effects on property owners along these rivers. Condemnation of properties, condemnation of easements, refusal to allow any sort of development or building along the rivers have been seen after these designations have occurred on other rivers.

Here in the southwest, water is utilized and protected by property owners. It is essential to life here and no one who lives here would consider harming or squandering a precious natural resource. We do not need the Federal government to tell us how to protect our very lifeblood. But that is what the Wild and Scenic River designation would do.

Research by our local Soil and Water Conservation Districts have found profound negative effects on land owners who own property within a large swath of land above and below designated rivers.

Multiple lawsuits against property owners have been filed by wealthy environmental groups against property owners on currently designated rivers. As most of the property owners in our rural counties of Catron and Grant in New Mexico are NOT wealthy, but hard working ranchers and farmers, the ability to protect our interests against such environmental groups is severely limited.

Please Mr. President, we need help fighting this land grab by self-interested environmentalists and politically motivated New Mexican senators. Thank you for any help you could provide.

Cathy Osher

Catron County