SANTA FE, N.M. — The Journal’s excellent articles on what is happening to New Mexico bears and other native wild animals is falling on deaf ears at the New Mexico Game and Fish Department, which cares more about hunting and trapping these animals than protecting them.
Your latest article on the absence of science relating to bear “management” reveals the lack of understanding this agency has of wild animal behavior, ecological habitat changes and other issues related to struggling wildlife. This agency is obsessed with killing them: it’s an antiquated, barbaric agency that embraces medieval views of wildlife as “commodities” and “resources.” This ideology no longer fits in today’s world. Perhaps it is time for less management of wildlife, and more management of this agency.
The department refuses to admit that Emergency Diversionary Feeding Programs work even as well-documented evidence proves they do. What does this tell us about this agency? It tells us that we cannot believe what these “experts” mouth to the press. They are not experts, and they are not listening to the majority of New Mexicans, who are not hunters or trappers, but who care deeply about the continued survival of our native wild animals and their dwindling natural habitat.
Despite agency efforts to inflate hunting and trapping numbers, federal statistics show a continued decline in such activities, with far more money spent on wildlife viewing, rather than killing. Even with the “cooked” numbers, the “official hunting count” amounts to only 6 or 7 percent of the U.S. population.
If this agency will not change its wildlife focus from hunting and trapping to a more enlightened, ecological approach, it needs to be abolished. The very survival of New Mexico wildlife is at stake.