State Game Commission

Game Commission Re-cap
April 5, 2017
Artesia, NM

The NM State Game Commission hosted their second meeting of 2017 at the Central Valley Electric Co-op in Artesia, NM. The agenda was fairly short compared to previous commission meetings and focused on non-controversial items.

Revocations

As is done at each Commission meeting Colonel Robert Griego provided a presentation on the individuals who are being considered for revocation. There were 15 individuals whose privileges were revoked under the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact for violations which took place in one of the 47 states that participates in the reciprocity of the Compact. The Commission revoked the hunting/fishing/trapping privileges of 40 individuals who possess one or more citations totaling 20 or more violation points. The Commission heard a presentation on 2 individuals with “stipulated agreements” meaning they are receiving a lessor penalty because they either turned themselves in for an accidental violation or there was some mitigating factor in the offense. The Commission also revoked the hunting/fishing/trapping privileges 245 individuals who have failed to pay previous citations as well as 369 individuals who are out of compliance with the Parental Responsibilities Act (PRA). In both instances the privileges are revoked until the citations are paid or the individual comes into compliance with the PRA. There were no outfitter or guide licenses considered for revocation at the meeting. You can find a list of every individual whose privileges have been revoked on the NMDGF website. Click HERE.

Draft Recovery Plan for Gould’s Turkey and Gila Monster

The Commission approved the final recovery plans for the Gould’s Turkey and the Gila Monster. Dept. Wildlife Chief Stewart Liley explained that the Gould’s Turkey requires tall roost trees, mature grasses, and a consistent water source and that the species is somewhat restricted to the bootheel area of the state. The Dept. knows that they have a robust population of Gould’s in the Peloncillos. They are hopeful to work with some private landowners along the Animas where they also think there are some birds but are unsure what the population number is exactly. The species remains stable but is considered “threatened” by the state Wildlife Conservation Act (not the federal ESA). The Dept. would like to continue augmenting the population (most likely with birds from Mexico in exchange for NM pronghorn) to fully recover the species. The overall goal of the recovery plan for Gould’s would be to grow the population to the point where they could eventually offer more hunting opportunities. The biggest natural threat that the Dept. faces to recovery would be catastrophic wildfire that could destroy roost trees.

The Dept. also presented a plan to recover the Gila Monster which also lives in the NM bootheel area. The Dept. is fortunate that despite how hard the species is to survey, because they only really need to eat twice a year and spend most their time underground, the Dept. does have information on a core existing population in the Gila and down through the Peloncillos. This species is considered endangered by the state Wildlife Conservation Act (not the federal ESA). The main threats to the species survival continues to be illegal collection and road mortality.

Initiation of Migratory Bird Rule 2017-2018

As they are every year, the Dept. will be restricted with what they propose under the migratory bird rule to what is recommended by the USFWS federal flyway framework. Season dates and bag limits will be adjusted in accordance with the federal migratory framework. The only negative changes for NM from the USFWS will be to reduce the Pintail bag limit from 2 to 1. The NM Sandhill crane population continues to grow and the Dept. is considering an entirely new hunt in the Rio Grande valley. This proposal is currently open for public comment on the Dept. website. The Dept. is also proposing to increase the bag limit on Canada goose. The presentation was for discussion purposes only and will be on the agenda for approval at a later commission date.  

Update on Governor’s Special Auction Banquet

The Dept. presented the results of the hunt auction that took place in February. The Dept. said the event set a record for attendance however, the hunt auction proceeds were slightly down from 2016. The funds generated at the auction are used to better wildlife conservation in that state of NM. The Dept. gave several awards at the banquet and ultimately generated $

Amendments to the Aquatic Invasive Species Rule

The Dept. presented the initial presentation to open the Aquatic Invasive Species rule. Since last year the Dept. has really ramped up their efforts to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering the state (NM is currently invasive free and hope to stay that way). This year the Dept. is not really planning to change any of the requirements and will instead be focusing on strengthening the language of the regulation.

Legislative Session Update

Deputy Director Jaramillo provided the Commission with an update on the 2017 legislative session as it related to the NMDGF budget and other initiatives. The budget requested by the NMDGF was the same as it has been for the past few years. The bill(s) that contained the NMDGF budget funds has not yet been signed by the Governor. The Dept. was successful in passing a bill that would make it a felony to poach an animal, resulting in wanton waste. That bill is also still awaiting the Gov. signature. Any bill not signed by the Gov. by this Friday will be pocket vetoed.  

Odds and Ends

The Commission approved an extension of a lease agreement between the NM Forestry Division and the NMDGF on a piece of property in Santa Fe with the Forestry Division is currently using for training. The Commission heard an update on the Dept. development of shooting ranges across the state. The Tres Piedras Rural Range is now open. The Dept. continues to work on ranges in Clayton, Milan, and Santa Fe. The Dept. also heard an update on the status of the construction of the new Albuquerque office as well as the construction of a new warehouse at the Dept. headquarters in Santa Fe.


Next Commission Meeting Thursday May 11, 2017 - Clayton, NM