New Mexico Issues

New Mexico BHA Weighs-in on Gila Travel Management Plan

Dear Secretary Vilsack,

On behalf of the undersigned organizations representing thousands of New Mexican sportsmen and women, we are writing to express our strong support for the recent Gila National Forest Travel Management Plan process.

We strongly support the process the U.S. Forest Service undertook to evaluate the resources, consider public input and collaboratively determine a path forward. Our community acknowledges that federal lands are held in trust by all Americans and therefore our proximity to the Gila bestows no special privilege or entitlement, only a heightened sense of stewardship. As generational caretakers, however, we feel strongly that these lands should be passed on to subsequent generations in equal – if not better – condition than they currently are.

Banning Drones for Hunting - A letter from New Mexico BHA

                                                                        September 20, 2013

To:     New Mexico Game & Fish Commission

From: New Mexico Chapter, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Issue:  Regulating Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (Drones) in Hunting

Background:

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems (commonly called “drones”) are increasingly important in the military and have high potential to contribute to the fields of wildlife biology, search-and-rescue, agriculture and many other applications.  However, in private hands there is small but growing interest in using these highly sophisticated remote-controlled aircraft to scout, monitor and stalk big game.  Backcountry Hunters & Anglers believes this technology represents a widespread opportunity for abuse, and if not regulated early poses a significant threat to fair chase hunting and fair distribution of hunting opportunity.

Action Alert: Big Impacts to Big Game Habitat at Stake

The following is a letter submitted by members of NM BHA to the Cibola National regarding a proposal to permit intensive military operations in otherwise relatively undisturbed backcountry habitat.  To help NM BHA 

February 5, 2014

Ms. Cheryl Prewitt

Cibola National Forest

U.S. Forest Service

2113 Osuna Rd., NE, Ste. A

Albuquerque, NM 87113

Re: Military Training Exercises Project – Comments submitted by E-mail

Dear Ms. Prewitt:

I am submitting my comments in response to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) Environmental Assessment (EA) for the proposed military training exercises project. I have major concerns about the environmental impacts proposed in the EA, especially in the Magdalena Ranger District. My comments identify deficiencies with the analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and includes recommendations that should be incorporated in the final decision. I also request three additional alternatives be analyzed by the USAF and USFS.

NM sportsmen hoping newest national monument designation bodes well for Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks

New Mexico sportsmen are optimistic that President Obama will do the same for New Mexico that he did today in California – use his authority to designate a new national monument.

At a White House ceremony today, the president made good on his State of the Union vow to protect more public land by designating Point Arena-Stornetta National Monument. The new monument includes 1,600 acres on the northern California coastline, including important habitat for salmon, migratory waterfowl and other species.

New Mexico sportsmen see the California designation as a good sign. “President Obama should be commended for moving forward to protect the Point Arena-Stornetta area, and we hope to see him in Las Cruces soon to announce similar protection for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks region,” said John Cornell, president of Dona Ana County Associated Sportsmen. “This proposal has wide local support, but sportsmen in particular want this designation because the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks provides exceptional hunting opportunity just a stone’s throw from Las Cruces.”

Prized northern NM hunting and fishing area one step closer to permanent protection

New Mexico hunters and anglers supported action today in the U. S. Senate that would benefit a prized hunting and fishing area in northern New Mexico. The Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining held a hearing on the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act (S. 776) which would provide permanent protection for 45,000 acres of the Carson National Forest known as the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area. The area was designated as a Wilderness Study Area in 1981 and has been managed by the U.S. Forest Service as a wilderness since that time.

“The Columbine-Hondo is prized by hunters locally and across the state,” said Toner Mitchell, New Mexico Public Lands Coordinator for Trout Unlimited. “There is beauty and experiences beyond compare in those mountains, and the area deserves permanent wilderness designation.”