by Rosemary Lowe
It’s about time that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stopped genuflecting to the NM Game & Fish Dept. & Commission, which is entrenched in an antiquated, anti-wildlife mentality with trophy hunting, trapping & ranching interests in control. Two of the Game Commissioners are members of the infamous Safari Club International, which continues to promote shameless trophy hunting around the world, including endangered species. The Mountain Lion ( a New Mexico wild cat) is on their “Grand Slam Cats of the World” Trophy hunting list. It was apparent to those of us attending these meetings, that this department has no interest in wild life protection/ preservation, nor in any democratic process. Most people do not hunt, trap or ranch. Yet their voices are never heard.
If we want to save wolves, mountains lions, & other native animals, , we must take on those special interests who are the impetus behind this despicable state agency: Tell these public lands rancher-moochers who graze everywhere on our National Forests, wilderness areas, BLM and state lands, we want them off ! Wildlife need these lands to survive.
Now it is up to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to take full control of the Mexican Wolf Recovery program. The failure of the federal government to protect public land in Nevada from rancher Cliven Bundy set a dangerous precedent for New Mexico. Also, Catron County ranchers have resisted the Federal Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program from the beginning. In May last year the Otero County Cattle Growers Association and their parent organization New Mexico Cattle Growers Association held a rally to “protect our land from federal designation.” The federal government must be prepared to protect federal wildlife habitat in the face of armed resistance.