Thousands ask commission to ban traps on public land

Coyote Trapped

Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair
In response to a trapping rule review, thousands of petition signatures, e-mails, and letters have been sent to New Mexico Game and Fish asking that leg-hold traps, snares and other body-crushing traps be prohibited from New Mexico’s public lands.

NM Game Commission ignores public

Wolf Rally June 2011

By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair

An item on the New Mexico Game Commission’s June 9 meeting agenda said the Department of Game and Fish was seeking “guidance” on the wolf-reintroduction program.

Santa Fe New Mexican Reports on Bobcat Event

Bobcat © David C. Jones

April 6 - Out for a hike with her dogs one day in a rural part of the state, Mary Katherine Ray almost became a statistic. She stumbled upon a leg-hold trap that easily could have snared her or her two animal companions.

Since that 2004 hike, Ray has been on a crusade to ban or curtail the use of the traps that indiscriminately catch anyone or anything in their path: birds, coyotes, dogs or even people.

Legalized wolf-killing to resume in Idaho, Montana


By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair

Opposition to wolves has escalated and now includes not only livestock interests but the hunting and outfitting lobby. These hunters erroneously believe that the integrity of wild places once inhabited by wolves can be maintained in their absence.

Leghold traps have unintended victims

Coyote Trapped

By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair

It was a beautiful winter hike in February, and our five Sierra Club outing participants had already seen several hawks. A little group of elk had crossed right in front of us. But just after we dropped down into a deeper canyon from the gentle juniper grassland hills, a movement caught my eye. To our horror, it was a coyote, and she was caught in a leg-hold trap struggling to get away.

Traps Ensnare Hiker and Dogs

Three Recent Incidents Plague New Mexicans

January 7, 2011 - Santa Fe, NM. Since mid-December, at least three New Mexico residents and/or their dogs have been caught in leg-hold traps set out by fur trappers. In one instance, the traps were illegally set but snows have hindered investigation by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.

Wolves in Danger - Congress may strip Mexican Wolves of endangered protection


Nearly a year ago, the official tally of the Mexican wolf population was just 42 animals in Arizona and New Mexico. Some had puppies this summer and a new count will take place soon to see how many survived. Our wolves could be thriving and we know nature needs them, but in the meantime, 6 of the 42 perished this year, all but one under suspicious circumstances.

NM Game Commission adopts disappointing cougar and bear rules, but the wolf area trapping ban is approved.

On October 28, we were disheartened that the New Mexico Game Commission voted to adopt an arbitrary cougar quota of 742. This number was recommended by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish in an 11th hour move to make their previous recommendation more palatable to the public. Initially, the agency wanted a quota of nearly 1000 dead cougars but the outcry was so vocal and numerous they felt compelled to tone it down.

Governor Richardson Issues Trapping Restrictions in Lobo Country

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

"By prohibiting traps and snares to protect our beleaguered lobos, Governor Richardson has again shown tremendous leadership to help wolves gain recovery," stated Mary Katherine Ray, Wildlife Chair of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierra Club. "Wolves bring millions of tourism dollars to Yellowstone. Directing the Department of Tourism to examine the potential for wolf tourism in New Mexico will benefit not only our wolves but also the economy of the Gila region and New Mexico," she added.

Chapter Petitions to Stop Trapping of Wolves in the Gila

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

The Rio Grande Chapter of the Sierran Club, Wild Earth Guardians, and the Southwest Environmental Center have sent a petition to the US Forest Service and the US Fish & Wildlife Service to stop trapping and snaring of wolves in the Gila National Forest.

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