The NM Game Commission, like most state wildlife commissions, has been dominated by hunters and livestock interests.
The best defense against a hostile Congress and President
In the best of times, the federal government is an unreliable, often reluctant partner in conservation, and these are not the best of times. That is why we intend to double down on our efforts to reform wildlife management at the state level in New Mexico and elsewhere.
The states are critical players in wildlife conservation. The states, not the federal government, have primary jurisdiction over most wildlife species within their borders. The problem is that state wildlife agencies have historically been dominated by hunters and agricultural interests. The primary management goal has been to produce a surplus of game species for hunters to harvest, and suppress or eliminate populations of predators such as wolves and coyotes that are perceived as a threat to both game species and livestock.
Our goal is to transform state wildlife agencies into entities focused on protecting all native wildlife, including predators, for the benefit of all residents. When this happens, it won’t matter nearly as much who holds power in Washington.
Impossible dream? We don’t think so. Interest in reforming state wildlife management is growing in nearly every state. And while the national election results were disheartening, the results in New Mexico were the opposite. The Democrats won control of the New Mexico House, which means that good bills such as a ban on coyote killing contests and game commission reform now stand an excellent chance of passage.