The FBI has no suspects yet, but plenty of leads and too many motives, an investigator told the Albuquerque Journal. Just days before the bombing, the Forest Service approved a controversial expansion at the Santa Fe Ski Area, and Mott says there's still a lot of locals angry over logging and firewood-gathering restrictions on nearby forests to protect the Mexican spotted owl (HCN, 12/25/95). He says the FBI is also looking at connections to other bombings on federal property, such as the explosion at a Carson City, Nev., Forest Service office last March.
Local Hispanic leaders and environmentalists discount the theory that the firewood controversy led to the violence; both sides say they're trying to work out their differences peacefully.
Mott says this is the third act of vandalism at a northern New Mexico Forest Service office since the 1960s. In all three cases, no one was hurt and police found no suspects. Keiran Suckling, a New Mexico environmentalist who recently relocated to Tucson, Ariz., also sees a trend: "Burning of buildings and houses is a virtual tradition in New Mexico. It's bizarrely common."
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