Mike Sauber by Mike Hudak
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The Reintroduction of the Gila Trout
Before moving to New Mexico in 1978, Mike Sauber had given little thought to livestock grazing. His interest markedly increased, though, when he found that New Mexico’s open-range law left his market garden vulnerable to invasion by hungry bovines. Years later, when the US Forest Service planned to construct earthen water tanks in nearby wilderness areas to benefit cattle rancher Kit Laney, Sauber and his partner, Susan Schock, formed the environmental organization Gila Watch to oppose the project.

The Gila trout, native to southern Arizona and southern New Mexico, has suffered a severe population decline from a variety of environmental threats, including livestock grazing. In this video, Mike Sauber talks about efforts to increase the fish population through reintroduction of the fish into streams on the Gila National Forest of New Mexico.

Recorded in July 2003. This video is an excerpt from Mike Sauber’s interview in Western Turf Wars: The Politics of Public Lands Ranching.

For more information about cattle management in the region where the reintroduction of the Gila trout took place, see Mike Hudak’s photo essay “Diamond Bar Allotment.”