January 17, 2014 at 8:45 PM CST - Updated July 21 at 10:13 AM
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, AP
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A coalition of northern New Mexico Hispanic and Native American ranchers is asking U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to address civil rights violations they say have hurt those who speak limited English and cost some their livelihoods.
The Northern New Mexico Stockman's Association has sent a letter to Vilsack and a White House senior policy adviser in response to a federal review that showed the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico and Colorado was not complying with several civil rights requirements.
The review found the agency was inconsistent in implementing policies and procedures, including those dealing with people who speak limited English.
Ranchers in New Mexico have complained of discrimination for decades.
Agency officials in Washington, D.C., say they're taking the review's recommendations as an opportunity to better serve constituents.