Take Action on 3 Bills that Would Protect Wildlife in New Mexico
As of March 16, 2017, New Mexico Senate Bill 268, legislation that would prohibit coyote killing contests, has passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Senate and the House Judiciary Committee and is now on to the House floor. There has been an amendment proposed to strike the words 'or entertainment' from the language, which will likely earn more votes in the House. The hearing has not yet been scheduled. If Senate Bill 268 passes, it will prohibit the awarding of prizes and other inducements for coyote killing contests so it could significantly reduce the number of these events being held in New Mexico, saving hundreds of coyotes' lives.
Senate Bill 286, the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act has been referred to the Senate Conservation Committee. No hearing date has been set.
Senate Bill 266, State Game Commission Mission and Purpose, has been referred to the Senate Conservation Committee. No hearing date has been set.
New Mexico residents, please continue to email, phone and write your State Representative and the Governor urging their support of these bills!
Three new bills have been introduced this year into the New Mexico state legislature that bring hope for the state's native predators and other wildlife. Send a message to your New Mexico state representative and Senators urging them to support SB 286, SB 266 and SB 268!
SB 286 is the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act which would ban the use of lethal body-gripping traps and poisons on public lands. This bill, known as the New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act, would protect mountain lions, coyotes, bears, bobcats, non-target wildlife, pets and humans from life-threatening body-gripping traps and poisons while living and recreating on New Mexico's public lands.
SB 266 would clarify the mission and purpose of the State Game Commission and provide valuable contributions to the way wildlife is managed in New Mexico. This bill would give the Commission the authority to protect all species of wildlife, including protected game species, furbearers and non-game species. This legislation would expand existing policy to include a more adequate and flexible system for the protection of the wildlife of New Mexico.
SB 268 would prohibit coyote killing contests, making it illegal to organize, sponsor, hold or participate in these indiscriminate wildlife killing events. This bill would end wasteful and inhumane killing of coyotes and other wildlife for fun, cash prizes, guns and hunting 'toys' in the state of New Mexico. Read the press release from the coalition of wildlife protection organizations who support this bill here.
IF YOU LIVE IN NEW MEXICO YOUR OPINION IS CRUCIAL. If you don't live in New Mexico you can still speak up!
Letters from New Mexico residents will be forwarded to your legislators and the Governor of New Mexico. Letters from outside New Mexico will be held and sent to the Governor and other decision makers when necessary.
Please be sure to use your own voice and experiences when adding your comments and feel free to use and expand upon the talking points below this letter form:
To contact your New Mexico representative by phone you can find the information here:
Trapping is indiscriminate, cruel and unnecessary, only a few commercial trappers benefit from killing wildlife on our public lands so they can sell fur pelts to Asia and Russia for coats and slippers.
Indiscriminate trapping can kill moms with young who must leave their cubs, pups or kittens behind to die from starvation or exposure.
Recreational hikers and their pets who use public lands to enjoy nature are at great risk of injury or death from traps, snares and poisons set on public lands.
Trapping is an antiquated activity that no longer fits with the cultural and environmental values of most Americans who want to see wildlife that is alive and thriving on our public lands.
Talking points for SB 266
SB 266 clearly identifies all wildlife as a public trust resource shared by everyone.
SB 266 grants State Game Commission authority to protect "all species of wildlife, including protected game species, furbearers, and non-game species.
SB 266 does not mandate that the Commission protect all wildlife, it just gives the authority to do so, so there is not necessarily a fiscal impact.
Wildlife viewing is an economic boon for New Mexico, generating over $320 million annually. Wildlife is worth more alive.
Talking points for SB 268
SB 268 will end the practice of holding killing contests for money and prizes that focus on luring and killing as many coyotes as quickly as possible, in addition to other wildlife that is gunned down in the crossfire of this horrific blood sport. These contests have nothing to do with responsible and humane wildlife management.
SB 268 will not restrict the right to protect livestock and personal property, it does not touch Second Amendment gun ownership rights and it will not affect or limit hunting in any way. It will make illegal the mass killings that destroy ecosystem balance and upset the tightly bonded social structure of coyote pack families and other wildlife.
Coyote killing contests put non-target wildlife - including endangered species like Mexican wolves - pets, livestock and even people at risk through the uncontrolled and over-enthusiastic gunners who shoot at anything that moves.
Coyote killing contests celebrate a culture of violence, teaching children that life has no value and that wildlife is disposable.
Please be respectful and clear in all communications. Discourteous communications reflect poorly on advocates for wildlife and the conservation community.
What YOU Can Do!
Call and email your New Mexico state legislators and urge them to support SB 286, SB 266 and SB 268 to end trapping and poisons on public lands, expand the reach of the State Game Commission to protect New Mexico’s wildlife and end coyote killing contests. Find your lawmakers here.
Forward this message to your friends in New Mexico and ask them to call and email their state lawmakers as well.
Help keep this issue in the public eye by submitting Letters to the Editor to your local paper(s). Pick one reason you support each bill and write a focused and direct letter expressing your support of these bills. Find New Mexico newspaper contact information here: http://www.wildmesquite.org/take-action/editorial-contacts.
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Additional options for making a gift are available by clicking HERE.
However you choose to contribute, you help to give mountain lions a voice. Thank you!
About the Mountain Lion Foundation
The Mountain Lion Foundation, founded in 1986, is a national nonprofit organization protecting mountain lions and their habitat.
We believe that mountain lions are in peril.
Our nation is on the verge of destroying this apex species upon which whole ecosystems depend. Hunting mountain lions is morally unjustified, and killing lions to prevent conflicts is ineffective and dangerous.
There is a critical need to know more about the biology, behavior, and ecology of mountain lions, and governments should base decisions upon truthful science, valid data, and the highest common good. Conserving critical lion habitat is essential.