The U.S. Forest Service has revoked the grazing permit of New Mexico rancher Craig Thiessen. Thiessen plead guilty in May to intentionally trapping and bludgeoning an endangered Mexican wolf with a shovel on public lands in 2015.
Grazing regulations authorize the agency to revoke the permit of any permittee who is convicted of failing to comply with federal laws relating to the protection of wildlife, including, in this case, the Endangered Species Act.
The Datil rancher held the permit for an allotment near Reserve on the Gila National Forest.
In a letter to congressional representatives, U.S. Forest Service regional director Marie Therese Sebrechts said, “We will offer other ranchers the grazing opportunity on the allotment once the administrative process is completed.”
The events began in February 2015, when Thiessen trapped the 10-month-old male wolf on his Gila National Forest grazing allotment. Thiessen admitted he hit the wolf with a shovel, but disputed killing it in an interview with the Santa Fe New Mexican.
Upon the guilty plea, Thiessen was sentenced to one year of unsupervised probation and ordered to pay the wolf recovery program $2,300.
“The victim here was a 10-month old wolf pup, named ‘Mia Tuk’ by Jaryn Allen of Albuquerque, from the Willow Springs pack, a family that no longer exists in part because of Mr. Thiessen’s actions,” said Greta Anderson, Deputy Director of Western Watersheds Project. “We’re glad that the Forest Service is showing that it takes wolf recovery seriously and won’t let ranchers get away with illegally killing these important predators.”