Because of recent field observations by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, two environmental groups are suing the National Park Service. The groups claim there is overgrazing in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. The Park is home to two species of cacti listed under the Endangered Species Act, both of which are the topic of debate.
"National Parks, tiny cacti, fragile soils and a bunch of cows don’t mix," said Jonathan Ratner,Western Watersheds Project director for Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, in a statement, the Salt Lake Tribune reported, “Unfortunately, the service hasn’t wanted to address this problem and has turned a blind eye to the trampling and degradation caused by cattle in Capitol Reef.”
In an email from over a year ago, there is a discussion of the negative impacts grazing was having on certain species in the park. The lawsuit is using the email, which was acquired through the Freedom of Information Act.
According to the email, park staff now believes that “Overgrazing and trailing patterns may jeopardize the continued existence,” (of the endangered species). The email also states, “Conservation actions required to protect the species would likely require significant changes in grazing and trailing."
Travis Bruner of the Western Watersheds Project said "But from our perspective it would be better if there was no grazing,"
Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune