Debate over trapping on NM public lands rages on

Bobcat siblings © Julianne Koza

By Susan Montoya Bryan/Associated Press, printed in Las Cruces Sun News on September 14

ALBUQUERQUE — The debate over whether New Mexico should prohibit the trapping of bobcats, raccoons and other furbearing animals on public lands is far from over.

Conservation groups scheduled a forum Wednesday evening to talk about trapping and a recent decision by the state Game Commission to lift a trapping ban in southwestern New Mexico, where the federal government has reintroduced the endangered Mexican gray wolf.

New Mexicans send more than 5000 messages to Game Commissioners asking to ban trapping on public land

Bobcat by Humane Society

July 17 - The Game Commission will decide on July 21 the fates of thousands of Bobcats, foxes and the other “bearers” of fur. In response to our public protest, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has posted an alternative for Game Commissioners to consider that would prohibit leghold traps, snares and lethal body crushing traps on public land. Read this alternative proposal.

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.

Groups Formally Call Upon New Mexican Officials to Ban Traps

Coyote Close Up

Conservation Groups Formally Call Upon New Mexican Officials to Ban Traps Cruel, Indiscriminate, and Harmful to Wildlife and Recreationists

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Santa Fe, NM. Yesterday, three conservation and animal welfare organizations formally requested that New Mexico wildlife officials ban traps and snares on all public lands. The Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, and Animal Protection of New Mexico made the request to the New Mexico Game Commission, which is charged with managing wildlife in the state and regulates trapping.

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.

Wildlife at risk along U.S.- Mexico border fence

Otero Mesa Grassland by Stephen Capra

By Scott Nicol, Co-Chair, Borderlands Team

Of the countless bison that once roamed North America, only five herds now remain, with a total population that is less than 5 percent of their historic numbers. One of the last herds crosses back and forth between the boot heel of New Mexico and the Mexican state of Chihuahua.

These bison are a critical part of the ecosystem that they inhabit, and their presence is vital for maintaining the grasslands in their natural state.

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.

Pearce a threat to wolves

Wolf2 © 2006 Larry Allen

The greatest threat to the survival of Mexican gray wolves today isn't the miscreant in the woods who illegally shoots a bullet into a wolf's head; it's a politician walking the halls of Congress named Steve Pearce.

Rep. Pearce, whose anti-environment extremism earned him a place on the League of Conservation Voters "Dirty Dozen" list in 2008, has recently proposed to cut federal funding for the Mexican wolf recovery program.

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