Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story: Catron County's politics heat up as its land goes bankrupt
Mark Unverzagt, a doctor in Reserve, N.M., took up Melinda Garcia's challenge and became key to the formation of Concerned Citizens for Catron County. The group, comprised of some 18 ranchers, local politicians, Forest Service officials, clergy and businesspeople, has been meeting for over a year to discuss contentious issues like grazing and logging on public lands.
"Catron County is certainly not the place it's been presented as in a lot of the press articles. There's a lot more middle ground than that. There are many people here who feel the county government makes headlines representing some of the views of the ranchers, but doesn't represent the diversity of views held within the community. A lot of the people who volunteer time to build the community, like the people who run the ambulance, aren't ranchers. Everyone socializes together, so ranchers are definitely supported, but they're not supported to the extent that everyone wants to kick out the Forest Service."