That realization jarred Forest Service employees who live in Catron County, now well known for its ordinances "taking back" public lands. Officials say they haven't a clue about who stashed the explosives. "It could be an individual, it could be a paramilitary group that trains in there, it could be a militia group, it could be war-games groups," says Allan Funkhouser, criminal investigator for the Forest Service. Agency officials have taken some flak for failing to disclose or discuss the presence of any of the explosives until July 7 - shortly after the pipe bomb turned up.
"They made a bad judgment call by not talking about this, and they put one of their own people in danger," says Kieran Suckling of the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity in Silver City.
Forest Service ranger Jay Cooley failed to take the names or phone numbers of the backpackers who gave him the pipe bomb; he also hiked for two days with it in his backpack before turning it over to a law enforcement officer. "Tony Davis
- The taxpayer money that fuels federal land transfer demands
- Latest: California fracking companies inject protected aquifers with wastewater
- Obama's preemptive strike to reform Endangered Species Act
- Wyoming trespass law is the latest in grazing battle
- Sightseeing at an open pit mine in Arizona copper country
- Bette Korber on The Los Angeles wetland wars
- Garrett Allen on The view from 31,000 feet: A philosopher looks at fracking
- Robb Cadwell on The view from 31,000 feet: A philosopher looks at fracking
- Amy & Chris Gulick on The view from 31,000 feet: A philosopher looks at fracking
- Richard H Ernst on The taxpayer money that fuels federal land transfer demands