Protect NM Public Lands & Wildlife - Support SB 458 & SB 383

thumbnail.jpgTwo important bills for New Mexico hunters and anglers need your help today in order to get through the Legislature before it adjourns next week. Please take a minute to read this, and then take action to protect YOUR public land and wildlife.

Senate Bill 458 will require the State Land Office to do a better job informing the public when it decides to dispose of State Trust Land. Hunters lost their best access to Coronado National Forest when the State Land Office quietly sold 640 acres of state land to the Diamond A Ranch about 10 years ago. And we almost lost access to thousands of acres in GMU 48 when the Land Office tried to trade it away. In both cases, the Land Office followed the law on public notification, but the law was too lax. SB 458 will increase the notification requirements and make it easier for the public to know when State Trust Lands are up for disposal.

This bill passed the Senate with strong bipartisan support. It now is waiting for a hearing in the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee.

Please contact committee Chairwoman Georgene Lewis (georgene.louis@nmlegis.gov, (505) 986-4329) and Vice-chairwoman D. Wonda Johnson (dwonda.johnson@nmlegis.gov, (505) 986-4433) and ask them to hear SB 458 as soon as possible.

Senate Bill 383 will allow the State Game Commission to close a loophole in its rules that would allow unethical hunters and poachers to request GPS information about the location of certain herds and individual animals. These animals are being tracked for research and management purposes. SB 383 would temporarily block the release of their location information without placing an undue burden on the public’s right to know how NMDGF is using public dollars.

This bill also passed the Senate with flying colors and is awaiting a hearing in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.

Please contact committee Chairman Matthew McQueen (matthew.mcqueen@nmlegis.gov, (505) 986-4423) and Vice-chairwoman Angelica Rubio (angelica.rubio@nmlegis.gov, (505) 986-4227) and ask them to hear SB 383 as soon as possible.

If your own representative is on either committee, contact them as well and urge them to support SB 458 and SB 383. To find your representative, go to nmlegis.gov and click on the “Legislators” menu button.

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About Katie DeLorenzo

As the Southwest BHA Coordinator Katie supports Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. When she's not working for BHA she is shooting her bow, roaming the wide open spaces of the west and experimenting with wild game recipes.

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