URGENT New Mexico Call to Action: Legislative Update

This information was received from the New Mexico Outfitters Association

New Mexico

SB 32 -Trapping Ban

CALL TO ACTION – On Friday SB 32, the bill that would ban recreational trapping on all NM public lands, showed up on the Senate Judiciary committee after lying dormant for over 4 weeks (a situation we did not complain about at all). After a debate late Friday evening, SB 32 passed the committee and has been heard by the full Senate and PASSED. It is now on its way to the House to be heard.

Do not forget to tell them that you are their constituent! Please note: the NM Game Commission already amended the trapping rule, at the request of the legislature in 2019. The Trapping Rule was amended to resolve public concerns regarding perceived conflict between trappers and hikers in heavily utilized recreational areas. Changes included:

  • A complete ban of trapping in high traffic urban recreation areas such as the Sandias, Organs, Santa Fe and Taos Ski Basins
  • Implementing a mandatory trapper education course for every furbearer license
  • Increasing a setback distance to ½ mile from trailheads and campgrounds
  • Requiring extensive trap system modifications to help prevent injury such as swivel points, break-away devices, anchor systems, lamination, padding, and size restrictions.

 These changes were made after an extensive public input process and would be completely nullified by this bill. This bill is overreaching and unnecessary.

 SB 419 – Narrow Landowner Animal Takings
Last Wednesday, SB 312 was magically reincarnated as SB 419 under the guise of “public peace, health, safety & welfare”. This new version of the bill is a straight Jennings Law repeal. Like wildfire the bill was scheduled and heard in committee on Saturday morning. Senator Steinborn (the bill sponsor) is trying desperately to convince everyone that this bill has nothing to do with EPLUS and is all about preventing mass killings of wildlife (which rarely happens under the Jennings Law to begin with). Despite Steinborn’s repeated attempts to disassociate EPLUS and the Jennings Law, we found it a bit suspicious that his “expert” in Saturday’s committee hearing was none other that the NM Wildlife Federation’s John Crenshaw. A well-known hater of the EPLUS program. In fact, when asked by Senator Soules whether this bill would impact EPLUS Mr. Crenshaw just could not help him and responded, “well EPLUS is up for review, that’s certainly no secret”.

Remember the EPLUS program is in RULE. If the Jennings Law is repealed the State Game Commission can make sweeping changes to the EPLUS program without going back to the legislature. Saying this bill is all about wildlife is nothing more than a red herring. Tell your legislators not to be fooled by this attempt to mislead and distract them from the true agenda of SB 419. The bill is now waiting to be heard in the Senate Finance Committee. We will send out another Call-to-Action email for this bill when a hearing date is scheduled. You are welcome and encouraged to reach out to your Senator at any time regarding any legislation that concerns you. 

SB 293 – State Park Refunds & Waivers
First and foremost, it is with so, so much frustration that we report SB 293, the bill that would have provided for refunds and waivers of State Park Concession fees, has died. The bill was pulled by the sponsor late last week for reasons unknown to NMCOG. Despite our begging and pleading with the committee chairman for the bill to be heard, it was rolled on Tuesday and pulled on Thursday. It will not be heard this session and is essentially dead. This was a good bill that should have been a slam dunk. It literally breaks my heart that NMCOG has once again failed in our efforts to provide any level of relief to fishing outfitters whose businesses were devastated by the Governor’s mandated closure of NM State Parks. We will continue to try to work directly with EMNRD and the NM State Parks Director to find a meaningful resolution.

Categories: Legislation, SCI News

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