A Celebration, and the Fight Ahead
In a major victory for New Mexico wildlife, SB 76 Prohibit Coyote Killing Contests passed the legislature. Once Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham signs the bill into law, New Mexico will be the second state in the union to legislatively ban coyote killing contests. Now that is something to howl about!
Other wildlife bills made significant progress, but none of them passed. Even though we have a Democratic majority in both the House and Senate, we still have a lot of education to do. Many Democrats voted against these bills or killed them in committees. See below for more details on individual bills.
We believe it is time to make wildlife a progressive issue, to make sure our representatives are fully behind us. SWEC plans to launch a two-year Wildlife for All campaign to radically transform wildlife management in the state of New Mexico.
Want to be a part of it? Join us for a Wildlife for All Workshop on April 15th, where you’ll learn about the campaign and how to build the power to start a movement. See our event page for more details.
Progress and Setbacks
For the first time ever, an anti-trapping bill made it through both House committees. However, the Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act never made it to a House floor hearing because we did not have the votes. Rather than risk hurting the bill's future chances, our Trap Free NM coalition decided to wait until next legislative session. This will give us the time necessary to work with legislators and make sure this bill has the support it needs to pass.
State Game Commission Changes also made significant progress, passing two committees and the House floor. In the Senate Rules Committee, Democratic Senator Linda Lopez joined with republicans to table the bill. We plan to re-work this bill as part of our Wildlife for All Campaign.
The bill to rename the Department of Game and Fish to the Wildlife Department made very little progress, passing the Senate Conservation Committee but getting stuck in Senate Rules.
State Game Commission Mission and Purpose, which would have given our Department of Game and Fish authority over all wildlife, was killed early on in the Senate Conservation Committee when Southern NM Senators Bill Soules and Joseph Cervantes joined with the republicans on the committee to table the bill.