Wildlife

Westerners pack the room for wolves

FWSWolfHearing-photobyJan Maguire.jpg

By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair

With the government back in business after its October shutdown, all of U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s public hearings on its rule proposals for wolf management have been held. One was in Washington DC before the shutdown, afterwards there was one in Denver, Sacramento, Albuquerque and Pinetop, Ariz. The last two also allowed testimony about the proposed Mexican Wolf rule changes in addition to the delisting all other wolves from Endangered Species protection.


Wolves face ever more obstacles

captive Mexican Wolf - photo by Jeromy Parsell

By Mary Katherine Ray, chapter wildlife chair

As the drought intensifies and the fires are raging on wildland across New Mexico, our beleaguered Mexican wolves continue to struggle.


Sticking up for the Mexican gray wolf

Aurelia Valente.jpg

By Mary Katherine Ray
Chapter Wildlife chair

Aurelia Valente recently wrote her own op-ed for The Santa Fe New Mexican defending protection of Mexican gray wolves after the executive director of New Mexico Cattle Growers said wolves “haven’t proven to be able to live in the wild.” I talked to this 13-year-old Santa Fe wildlife enthusiast about what motivated her to speak out:

Mary Katherine Ray: How did you become interested in New Mexico’s wolves?


Introduced Legislative Memorials would have monitored Game & Fish Dept.

By Mary Katherine Ray
Chapter Wildlife chair

Rep. Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces, who sits on the House Energy and Natural Resources Committee, heard the testimony on HB579, the bill to ban trapping on public land, and afterward introduced two memorials that would have provided needed oversight of New Mexico Game and Fish Department.


2013 session ends on a good note

Roundhouse - by Dan Lorimier

By Dan Lorimier
Chapter lobbyist

After 60 stressful days of committee hearings, floor sessions, caucuses and meetings, the First Session of the 51st Legislature drew to a close at noon March 16.

Hard lobbying by the Rio Grande Chapter and our ally organizations blocked all of the environmentally threatening legislative proposals put forth in 2013. We also successfully worked to pass several proactive bills and memorials.

The chapter Lobby Team was strengthened with support from Gaye Reese and Elliot Stern, who reinforced Legislative Chair Judith Bunney’s daily efforts. We also got analytical help from Legislative Committee members like Jack Sullivan and Ken Hughes. Chapter activists provided strong support for our priority bills.


Sagebrush Rebellion Redux in New Mexico?

By Walter Szymanski, Rio Grande Chapter member

At the invitation of New Mexico’s Southwestern County Commission Alliance (SWCCA) and the Council of Border Conservation Districts, a fast-talking lawyer and Republican state representative from Utah named Ken Ivory made a presentation to about 60 attendees at a meeting in Deming on Dec. 3, 2012, urging them to follow his state’s lead and push for legislation in New Mexico to “take back” national public lands.


Under Fire: Public, elected officials respond passionately to coyote-killing contest

Coyote Killing Protest photo by Karen Hackney

By Mary Katherine Ray, Chapter Wildlife Chair

Coyotes, our native wild song dogs, are the most persecuted animal in New Mexico. They can be shot on sight, trapped or poisoned all year long in unlimited numbers. And now we know that shooters compete with each other in organized events to see who can kill the most in a weekend to win a prize.


Wildlife advocates submit letter to FWS re. Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project Replacement Release Outline

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At a public meeting regarding the Mexican Wolf Blue Range Reintroduction Project
Replacement Release Outline for Arizona 2013 held in Alpine, Arizona, Mr. Chris Bagnoli of the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) announced that public comments on the release proposal would be accepted through October 27, 2012. In response, the White Mountain Conservation League, has submitted a letter signed by 19 organizations, including the Grand Canyon and Rio Grande chapters of the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, Western Wildlife Conservancy and many others.


UPDATE - additional 41 acres to be added to Valle de Oro - Two NEW New Mexico wildlife refuges dedicated

Wildlife refuge photo by Jeff Potter

UPDATE (August 2, 2013) Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Adds 41 Acres

The next 41 acres of a planned acquisition of the 570-acre Price's Dairy was conveyed to the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge, said The Trust for Public Land, Bernalillo County and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on July 30.

The transfer represents the second phase of the Refuge's three-phase acquisition plan. More details in attached press release.


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