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


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.

Plan for Middle Rio Grande released

Expanding programs such as the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program

By Dave Simon

The Rio Grande is one of the world’s great rivers. Over 1,800 miles in length, the Rio Grande is the fifth-longest river in North America. More than 500 miles of the Rio Grande form the heart of New Mexico—the state’s primary drainage feature and most valuable natural and cultural resource.

Wildlife management or wildlife destruction?

Protest at NM Game & Fish Dept. - photo by MK Ray

On June 21, the state Game Commission rubber-stamped Game and Fish’s
recommendation to drastically increase allowed bear and cougar kills in New Mexico.

By Mary Katherine Ray, Wildlife Chair

What exactly is meant when the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish uses the words “wildlife management”? When it comes to carnivores, it means one thing: killing. Game and Fish is proposing to increase the number of bears being killed despite only two years having passed since the quotas were raised dramatically already.

So-so year for wolves; otters get second look

Wolf2 © 2006 Larry Allen

By Mary Katherine Ray, Wildlife Chair

The wolf population count for 2011 is in. Despite nine known Mexican wolf deaths last year and the fires and the drought, 2011 was not a bad year for wolves. The official count is up to 58, which is eight more in the wild than at the end of 2010. Arizona has 32 and New Mexico 26.

Frequently asked questions on Trapping

Wolf1 © 2006 Larry Allen

Trap Free NM has created a concise set of frequently asked questions about Trapping. Take a look at the PDF attachment.

Prairie dogs return to Galisteo Basin

Prairie Dog Feeding

The Gunnison Prairie Dog population in Galisteo Basin has increased from 58 in 2009 to 250 in 2011 thanks to a coordinated effort by the Sierra Club, City of Santa Fe, People for Native Ecosystems, and Wild Earth Guardians.

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