UPDATED: March 24, 2003
NEW MEXICO STATE GAME COMMISSION
Santa Fe Community College
6401 Richards Avenue
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
March 6, 2003
9:00 a.m. 5:00 p.m.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 1. Meeting Called to Order
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 2. Roll Call
Director Bell called roll:
Commissioner David Henderson - Present
Commissioner Alfredo Montoya - Present
Commissioner Jennifer Montoya - Present
Commissioner Peter Pino - Absent
Commissioner Guy Riordan - Present
Commissioner Leo Sims - Present
Director Bell stated that there is a quorum.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 3. Introduction of Guests
Chairman Arvas requested members of the audience introduce themselves.
Guests and staff introduced themselves.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 4. Approval of Minutes (January 29, 2003)
MOTION: Vice-Chairman Alfredo Montoya moved to accept the minutes as presented. Commissioner Henderson seconded motion.
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.
Director Bell requested the record reflect that Commissioner Peter Pino was now in attendance.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 5. Approval of Agenda (March 06, 2003)
Director Bell announced that in order to accommodate some potential changes in conflicts in people’s schedules that it may be wise for the Commission to consider breaking the Executive Session into 2 sessions. One to be held right after lunch in order to deal with land issues and one at the end of the day to deal with other personnel matters and litigation.
Commission was in agreement.
Biography Brief on Lisa Kirkpatrick presented by Director Bell
More than 20 years experience with the Department of Game and Fish. She began her career as a summer intern with the Fisheries Division after receiving her B.S. Wildlife Degree from NMSU. Since then has spent a full time career with the Department as a District Conservation Officer, an Area Game Manager out of Raton, NM and Area Habitat Specialist and Game Manager in Albuquerque. Kirkpatrick then obtained a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management while doing service with the Department. Arose to level of Assistant Chief with the Department’s Conservation Services Division and is now serving as Chief of that same division.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 6. Marquez Wildlife Area Access
Presented by Lisa Kirkpatrick The Department presented information on the history of the Marquez Wildlife Area and the problems encountered with respect to access to the area. The current access agreement with the Juan Tafoya Land Grant Association expires December 31, 2002. Representatives of the L-Bar Ranch, Juan Tafoya Land Grant Association, and the Jack Dilts Ranch have been invited to make presentations to the Commission regarding offers to provide access to the Marquez property. Information was presented before the Commission regarding offers made to the Commission in August 2002. Kirkpatrick stated that to the best of the Department’s knowledge the offers were still valid, however, the proponents of the offers may make modifications to their original proposals. The lack of legal access to the Marquez Wildlife Area limits the Department’s ability to manage the property in a manner that allows for the conservation and enhancement of wildlife habitat. Currently, many of the resources devoted to this property are directed at meeting the requirements of the current access agreement with the Juan Tafoya Land Grant Association. Failure to acquire access to this property may jeopardize Federal Aid Grant funding received by the Department for the maintenance of Commission owned lands. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has notified the Department that the current agreement allowing the exchange of access for the ability to graze cattle on the property will not be permitted after the December 31 expiration of the current agreement. The acquisition of access to the property will likely need to be purchased and will therefore have one-time fiscal impacts to the Department’s budget. Failure to acquire access will diminish the value of the property and will make future sale or trade difficult. The Marquez Wildlife Area access has been an issue for several years. The public has been made aware of the issue in many venues, including past Commission meetings, meetings conducted by the U.S. Forest Service on a related matter, public meetings attended by Department representatives, and in numerous one on one communications. Generally, the public response is a desire to resolve the access issue in a manner that permits the public to continue to utilize the Marquez Wildlife Area or a similar property, primarily for the purpose of elk hunting.
Appraisal/Comparison Information based on 1998 appraisal: Marquez WLA (14,501 acres) $834,000 or $57.50/acre w/o access; $1,305,000 or $90.00/acre w/access. Marquez Town lots 23 lots (235 acres) $70,500 for land, $102,000 for the water rights.
Water Background: One permitted well for 3 acre-ft/year, 45.4 acres irrigable/ at 3 acre-ft/acre 132.61 acre-ft water (filed with state engineer).
Juan Tafoya Land Corporation access for land trade JTLC estimates that current 1.75 miles (approx 9 acres) access road value is $1,525,5000.00. Propose to trade access via that road for equal value ($1,525,500.00) in property. 1998 appraised value of 9 acres is $810.00.
Caprock Pipe and Supply Company land exchange Exchange of Pipe Ranch for Marquez WLA. Pipe Ranch is 21,010 acres located southwest of Socorro. 10,450 acres of private land, 10,550 BLM and state leased land. Land values $1,305,000 (1998 appraisal of WLA) with list price of Pipe $3,250,000 with immediate access to south end of Marquez as trade negotiations take place. Another offer is easement for easement. Caprock would provide permanent easement to the south end of the WLA and construction of new road along west boundary, 2.5 acres at 57.00/acre = $142.50. Commission provides 100 foot easement on current road from Marques Canyon and northward along the west boundary, culverts; gates and cattle guards; and 85 acres at $57.00 acre = $5,000.
Jack Diltz Easement For land trade Jack Diltz provides 1.4 mile easement to the south end of the WLA, 2.5 acres at 57.00acre = $180.00. The Commission trades approximately 1500 acres, $57.00/acre = $85,500.00.
Kirkpatrick stated Chapter 17 NMSA provides authority for use of Eminent Domain. This could be used on any adjacent property and increase property value by $431,000.
Current Proposals Floyd Lee Ranch will discuss possible easement or exchange. Caprock and Jack Dilts have proposed a process to consider new proposals. Juan Tafoya Land Corporation may consider new options.
Options Consideration or elimination of current offers. Provide direction to adjacent landowners to develop new offers. Develop Commission proposal to take to adjacent landowners. Resolution is needed by December 31, 2003.
Director Bell felt it appropriate for the offerors, if they wished, to make a brief oral presentation to the Commission. Following that the Commission may have some discussion, and perhaps need additional information the Department could provide at a future meeting. Ultimately it is felt the Department is at the juncture where after hearing today’s discussion the Commission needs to give the Department direction as to going back and reconsidering these options. It is that point in time of negotiations where the individuals have brought forth their offers and now need to hear from the Department as to a counteroffer or further pursue these options with them.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Jennifer Montoya requested further description of the town lots. Kirkpatrick stated there are 23 different lots varying in size from approximately .3 acres to 45 acres. Commissioner J. Montoya asked if Game and Fish owned the town lots and if the lots were considered part of the management area. Kirkpatrick stated the lots are owned by the Department but not necessarily managed as part of the Wildlife Area. Director Bell stated the Commission had previously directed the Department to begin to divest of a number of town lots throughout the State because they were small enough in size and provided very little, if any, wildlife benefit to the State. Commissioner Sims asked when the appraisal was described if the vast majority of the money appraised was due to the water rights. Kirkpatrick stated the value in the property is certainly weighed towards that of the water rights. The land itself was valued at $70,000 with the water rights and at that time the value was $102,000. Commissioner Sims asked if the Dilts and Pipe appraisals were done in the same year and timeframe. Kirkpatrick stated the price for the Marquez was a 1998 appraisal and the price associated with the Pipe Ranch was a list price they had because the ranch was for sale. The proposal was 2002. Commissioner Alfredo Montoya stated he was under the opinion Eminent Domain consideration should be the last option, if an option at all. He recommended the Commission allow the Director to proceed with the Juan Tafoya Land Grant and others with negotiations and keep the Commission abreast of the developments and bring back to the Commission at a later date for consideration. Chairman Arvas wished all the parties present comment at this time. Director Bell suggested since the Department is in the stage of getting close to proposing counter offers that perhaps the Commission allow a discussion in Executive Session.
Raymond Sanchez, representing Juan Tafoya Land Grant Corporation Has had a contract/agreement with the Department of Game and Fish since 1970 for access to the Wildlife Area. They are willing, at this time, to propose that they look at options other than the option presented originally. One of the options and considerations they have been talking about and would like to develop with the Department is a dialog with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department who have the jurisdiction over the use of the property. There is some question as to whether grazing should or should not be allowed, that is somewhat debatable and they would like to see this issue cleared up. If it can be cleared and the necessary waiver obtained, they feel it possible to enter into a long-term agreement with the Department for permanent access. There is a dispute with the issue dealing with the town sites as to the ownership of that property. There are certain things that will be discussed with the Commission later relative to that, but wanted the Commission to realize that none of the lots have access and every single one of them falls within the Juan Tafoya Land Grant Corporation property. There are no easements to any of those lots. That is a granted easement and there is dispute to real ownership. Sanchez stated they are willing to negotiate the option and also willing to talk about a trade for permanent access for land of equal value if possible. They wish to have this issue resolved; they want to give the Commission and New Mexico hunter’s access. There are other issues that will come up at a later time and that has to do with the water rights that will be visited on in the closed Executive Session. Sanchez thanked Director Bell for all the hard work, time, effort and effort he has put forth in dealing with this matter.
Chairman Arvas stated 1:30 is the projected timeframe for a guideline for discussion of this matter in Executive Session.
Director Bell stated Chuck Dumars will also be attending with information on the water rights and there will also be one other matter relative to Permit 71 in Eagle Nest that will also be heard from Frank Bond.
Jim Vaught, representing Pipe Ranch The Pipe Ranch and the L-Bar Ranch are neighbors of the Marquez. The Pipe Ranch became involved in this issue when the Department of Game and Fish approached the owners and asked if they would be interested in trading the Pipe Ranch for the Marquez. Vaught stated that is why they did not essentially make the Commission a formal proposal this time. With a new Commission just being seated they figured it would take some time to warm up to this issues and to understand its complexities. The Owners although, are willing to sit down with the Commission to work out an easement for easement trade or work a trade for the Pipe Ranch if the Commission is so interested.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Jennifer Montoya asked if the Commission did trade for the Pipe Ranch, because there if federal and Bureau of Land Management lands in involved, if the Commission would be obligated to graze? Vaught answered no. He further stated he could not speak for BLM but his understanding was there would be no obligation. Chairman Arvas asked Director Bell if Mr. Vaught and other interested parties could attend the Executive Session. Director Bell felt the Commission could have them come in and out as the Commission had questions but they have to be specifically relative to land deal and pricing otherwise it would have to be done in open session. Vaught invited the Commission to a one-day Mule Deer Seminar taught at the ranch. That is in conjunction with discussion with the Director. His wishes are that the Commission obtains background information on mule deer because they are fixing to go into a regulation revision process that begins in April. This will also afford the Commission the opportunity to view the property.
John Dimas Recalled there has been a problem in the past with the L-Bar Ranch where they denied access to hunters. Dimas asked if the Department acquired this right-of-way if the L-Bar would reciprocate. If they denied the Department access, should not the Department deny them access?
Director Bell stated there was a previous land exchange in the checkerboard area. Prior to that land exchange access was allowed to the Marques Wildlife Area from the north. Following that land exchange that is now all private land and that access has not been continued. As far as the Department not allowing the L-Bar Ranch access, the Department has nothing to limit them access from. They in fact control access to the Department. They surround the Department’s property and can access it from their own property.
Larry Caudill Commended Commission for interest in Mule Deer Seminar.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 7. Presentation of Appreciation Plaques
Director Bell felt it important the Commission and Department recognize endeavors put forth by people that make a true contribution to New Mexico’s wildlife. Director Bell recognized and thanked past Commissioner Steve Emery for his guidance and leadership he gave the Department in his term as Chairman. Also recognized was Joyce Johnson, Region II, Federal Aid Office as a tremendous asset and resource to the Department on the Eagle Nest Lake issue.
Director Bell went on to say that every now and then a person comes along that seizes the opportunity to perform a purely selfless act. An act that benefited thousands of people and provided them recreation family value and sport fishing opportunity all while assuring preservation of a wildlife heritage, an act above any endeavor of common man. This person diligently pursued a quest brought forth by the State Game Commission. In so doing he donated literally ten’s of thousands of dollars of manpower and time to assure the quest was successful. The quest was the acquisition of Eagle Nest Lake.
Mr. Frank Bond was awarded the well-deserved recognition of the Director and the Commission for his diligence, perseverance, hours of time, sleepless nights and hard fought negotiations that provided this lasting treasure to the State of New Mexico.
Director Bell went on to say the State Game Commission is an appointed body that serves without compensation through volunteer participation and is honored to recognize the efforts of several such volunteers that devoted their personal time at home and on the road in support of wildlife management. It is with admiration that the service provided be recognized even if not all were in agreement with all of the decisions. These people served, not for personal gain, but out of sense of duty and willingness. They served out of what is in their hearts to assure New Mexico has a lasting wildlife heritage and preservation of hunting and fishing as part of that heritage. The controversy they faced was plentiful and the diversity among citizens great, yet they strived in the best way they knew how to apply common sense and biology. They made strides in educating themselves by attending the 1st New Mexico Commission Short Course, taking field trips where the public was invited; adopting long-range management plans that set the stage for true advancement in wildlife management and restoration. They adopted the States 1st Endangered Species Recovery Plan. They truly listened to their constituent base and provided sound policy to the Department in wolf management and adoption of principles. Individuals recognized and comments made are as follow:
Karen Stevens A true leader, not afraid to take chances, a person that set the standard of all Commission Chairmen to follow. A Chairman that allowed public input, respected opinions and provided a model for leadership. A real pal to the bow hunters and to all sportsmen and the most published Chairwoman ever.
Jim Weaver Even though Jim was only on the Commission a short while his accomplishments were many. From peer review on peregrine to Aplomado falcon recovery, and contributing selflessly in restoration of prairie chicken.
Tom Growney Also only on the Commission a short while but assumed the Department’s biology was sound after asking difficult questions. Not afraid to offer a challenge and supporter of Department efforts.
Past Chairwoman Stevens thanked the public for all their support during her tenure. Without the support and input the Commission would not of been able to do their job. Also thanked was the Department of Game and Fish by recognizing the leadership and having the state’s wildlife at heart. Stevens encouraged the newly appointed Commission to tap into that resource and knowledge.
Director Bell thanked the past Commission for opportunities provided him in serving the Department of Game and Fish.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 8. Game and Fish Open Meetings Rule (19.30.3 NMAC)
Director Bell gave biological background on Dan Brooks Brooks has 15-years experience in Research, Wildlife Management and Law Enforcement, including 2 ½ years as Chief of Law Enforcement Division (currently held), 2 ½ years as Assistant Chief of that Division; 5 years as a Wildlife specialist for the SW Area; 2 years as a District Officer and trainee for the NW Area and 3 years of Construction and Habitat Technician, Researcher for the Arizona Game and Fish. Brooks has been published in a number of technical publications including ecology of Coues white-tailed deer in the Santa Rita Mountains; Summer Diurnal Bed sites of Coues White-tailed Deer; Coues White-tailed deer in Arizona and Born Wild, Born to Hide in New Mexico Wildlife.
Presented by Dan Brooks - The Department presented recommendations for the Open Meeting Act. State law requires that public agencies (NMSA 1978 § 10-15-I (D) annually determine what notice for a public meeting is reasonable criteria if they: Have discussion or adoption on any proposed resolution, rule, regulation or formal action occurs and at which a majority or quorum of the body is in attendance, and any closed meetings. Brooks stated the Open Meetings Act requires reasonable public notice, allows for public participation, views and hears decisions by Commission and meets Statutory Mandates found in 10-15-1 et al. NMSA 1978.
Other items reviewed:
Timeframe 10-15-1(D) 10 days advanced notice regular meetings; 03 days advanced notice Special Meetings (urgent issue but not emergency); 24 hours advanced notice Emergency Meetings (unforeseeable issue that threaten health, safety, or property of citizens, or result in financial loss to Commission).
Department’s Strategic Plan, IV. Administration Program - Objective 3: Reduce incidences of confusion or dissonance between the Game Commission and the Department. Objective 9: Fewer incidents of confusion, contradictions and conflicts arising from regulatory complexity by 2005 than experienced in past years. Objective 10: That the public has the information it needs to support and participate in Department programs.
Public Participation=Public Awareness and Support To inform public of agenda items that allow for adequate participation and understanding of various interests and the decision that was reached.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Alfredo Montoya stated he had served under other public bodies and worked under the Open Meeting Act. It had been his impression that Commissioner’s can be together as a group at functions, etc., but must refrain from discussions pertaining to agendas, meetings, lobbying, etc. Brooks stated that was correct and there are certain exemptions with the Open Meeting Act. The Department attempts to set up group outings to invite the public so that they know and can see what the Commission is doing, or break them up into groups. What the Department does not wish to do is give the public any impression of impropriety. Chairman Arvas stated he remembered about 10 years ago there was a meeting of the Game Commission in Carlsbad and that violated the Open Meetings Act as they did go as a group. Arvas stated he preferred the Commission follow the Open Meetings Rule to the letter and try not to violate this Act. Director Bell felt the Commission would be better off, if a quorum is to be together, to advertise as an open meeting. Commissioner Pino asked if the 24-hour time frame emergency meeting has been a problem in the past as far as getting all the Commission together? Director Bell answered the Commission did have to meet under this circumstance on 2 occasions and that was not a problem. In the Open Meetings Act there is a provision for telephonic hearings for certain situations and the Department provides that mechanism along with TV Video capability.
MOTION: Commissioner Pino moved to adopt the Open Meeting Act Rules as presented by the Department. Commissioner Jennifer Montoya seconded motion.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Alfredo Montoya asked if there was anything that designated any specific timeframes for holding meetings or if the decision on this was up to the Commission? Brooks answered it was the discretion of the Commission. Director Bell added there are time the Department does need to have a meeting held in order to meet other deadlines such as budget framework, legislative matters and other times for rule make processes that have to get in place with adequate time for publishing. When a meeting of a State Game Commission can be convened is also controlled by Statute. When public interest comes forward and requests a meeting, by Statute, the Commission should then hold a meeting in the area of the State affected by the request. Otherwise, there is no hard and fast rule that a meeting has to be held on the 15th of ever month, etc., that is left up to the body.
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.
Director Bell stated what the Department wished to do, since this is a new process to the Commission, is take them through revocations. Once the Commission becomes familiar with the process and how it works it may be something the Commission would want to consider placing on a Consent Agenda for future meetings.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 9. License Revocations-Presented by Dan Brooks
Presented by Dan Brooks The Department presented to the Commission an overview of revocation procedures and brought forward a list of candidates for revocation consideration by the Commission from the current criteria. Brooks stated revocations are usually the final phase of law enforcement duties for officers. This is embodied in the Department’s Strategic Plan with the objective that no protected wildlife is reduced to threatened or endangered species status. Conducting statewide detection, apprehension, prosecution and revocation of persons violating wildlife laws carries out this objective. Considerations regarding duplications and /or conflicts with existing rules or statutes were reviewed and are as follow: Commission authority for revocation, suspension and denial is well established by statue and rule:
Chairman Arvas requested a change in the Agenda. Chairman Arvas requested Secretary Prukop of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources be allowed to present at this time (portion of Agenda Item 14) due to time constraints on her part. The remainder of Brooks presentation will follow.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 14 (Portion of)
Eagle Nest Lake Discussion
Secretary Prukop stated she had just come from a meeting with Bureau of Land Management where discussion took place as to how the Department might go forward on topics of Otero Mesa of which the Department has an interest in terms of gas development and wildlife concerns. There was a meeting with the Department last week on how to proceed on Eagle Nest Lake in regard to meeting the intent of the uses, or that property now that it is in ownership by the Game and Fish Department. Prukop stated they were here today to talk about what a State Park there might look like and how to develop plans on how to work together to meet all the needs and address all the issues that were dealt with during the purchase price process regarding the lake and the surrounding property. Prukop stated with her today was the Division Director of the NM State Parks as well as Deputy Secretary Tom Mills and some of the State Parks staff to help answer questions and share information.
Dave Simon, State Park Director Introduced Dave Johnson, Bureau Chief for Design and Planning; Paul Roybal, Deputy for Administration; Sandra Massengail, Grant Program; Steve Tafoya, Bureau Chief, Operations; and Dave Johnson, Planning Director. Simon stated these are the personell committed to working on an Eagle Nest Park. Simon continued with stating that legislature made the first of significant moves regarding Eagle Nest Lake when they appropriated 4 million dollars as a down payment for the purchase. The following year it was followed up with the appropriation of ½ million dollars to the Energy and Minerals Department that was allocated for development of Eagle Nest Lake Park. That was one of the first clear establishments of the Legislatures intention for the State Parks Division to be involved and be a partner with the Department. In May 2002 the Legislature appropriated the balance of 17 million dollars to complete the purchase and the purchase was closed in August of that year. The total acreage there is about 4460, of which approximately 2,500 acres are surface water at the maximum elevation. Following the purchase, the executive took the additional step of encouraging the inter-agency cooperation for the future of the lake and requested Game and Fish to initiate some discussions with their Department as well as the Intra-State Stream Commission to develop a Joint Powers Agreement (JPA) to go forward. Those discussions insured in November of 2002 and a JPA signed. Essentially the concept is to take the things that by law and by expertise that each agency does best and allocate those to the respective agencies. In the terms of the JPA Game and Fish would have the major responsibilities mainly over the regulatory authority and jurisdiction of wildlife resources; the State Parks Division would be to improving the recreational area and services and helping manage the users of the area. Simon pointed out, the lands surrounding the lake on the ease side and south of the dam, the JPA clearly indicates that those lands would remain undeveloped. They are the lands that currently buffer the Colin Neblett Wildlife Area and their remaining in an undeveloped status is clearly spelled out. State Parks would do the other things including providing and managing the boat launch facilities and maintaining a safe visitor experience for visitors. The Intra-State Stream Commission also had roles including managing and overseeing the operation of the dam. They are not quite the same player as envisioned in the JPA. Simon stated this was a major twist on what was envisioned and was aware it imposed some really significant burdens on Game and Fish for which they are quite sympathetic. There are common responsibilities that included supporting each other in the request for funding and each agency trying to take care of its own respective needs.
A brief summary of the Draft Management Proposal that State Parks has prepared for their role at Eagle Nest Lake is as follows: The plan is preliminary and is based on a State Parks Division team assessment and some preliminary discussions with the community, but is not a final plan. It is a very conservative plan and does not propose development in any place that does not have some sort of development and activity already in existence. The vast majority of the land would remain completely undeveloped. The plan is premised on the preliminary concept that States Park Division would assume management of about 900 acres of the land acreage that the state owns. The main justification or rational behind this approach is that it would allow State Parks to focus on those areas where visitors and recreation use would be focused. Secondly, an integrated or intact block of land on that west side of the lake will really ease administration for both agencies. Sources of funding for some of the park development have been identified, one of which would be a substantial grant from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, essentially matching funds that the Federal Government has promised at such time. Development points reviewed. The north access point would be to improve access and comfort station with a more modern facility. Continuing to the west, the main ramp recently built by Game and Fish would require extension and modern conveniences such as a residence for a marine enforcement officer and improved roads and parking. South Ramp would be extended and improved. Six mile would be the place that would have the most significant State Park presence as well as the most new disturbance. That would include the construction of a visitor’s center that is estimated to be a couple of thousand square feet and would also include office space and restrooms. Simon stated this is a significant facility because it will be the point of place to do educational functions and they hope to have joint presence and partnership with Game and Fish on education. Construction of about 20 day use sites is also planned for six mile.
Simon concluded with stating they are excited with moving forward with the Department of Game and Fish and the Commission and have identified the issues as issues that do need to be addressed together and need to work on to arrive at the specifics of the operational partnership in going forward. The amount of land that would be involved directly in the State Park and how much of it would have some of facilities is still open. How the federal dollars would be matched entails committing some lands to long-term conservation status. Possibilities of the disposition of land, in terms of its ownership, include a transfer or lease of some kind between Game and Fish and State Parks Division. Issues of access and fees, which are complicated by some federal laws, need to be worked on along with the issue of water rights.
State Parks is requesting approval from the Commission to move forward along these lines, principally to work through the issues carefully and collaboratively and back to the Commission with recommendations on how to address each of the issues.
Director Bell informed the Commission a brief summary was put together by the Department and placed in the meeting books regarding some of the issues, most of which Simon has covered. But, in going forward the Commission needs to keep in mind that is a Commission owned asset and as a result of utilizing license money for its acquisition that asset must be protected to assure they do not go into diversion of federal funds. There also are some existing structures there, as we move forward with the park, that will need to be dealt with and feels they can be worked through. Director Bell stated he was in full support and it has always been contemplated there would be a State Park development around Eagle Nest Lake. That was the intent of the last administration and the main reason for coming up with the JPA. There was originally concern over the amount of acreage State Parks was attempting to commit under Land and Water Conservation money, however, after being assured that that is the acreage that was contemplated in the JPA is supportive is the Commission wished to commit the 900 acres which was earlier slated for development. That would allow them to maximize their funding and move forward with the park. Director Bell stated there are some issues that will have to be worked out and if that form of commitment were obtained from the Commission today it would pave the way for advancement of this project. Chairman Arvas’ understanding was what Simon wished to do is to move forward in concept. This would require a motion from the Commission relinquishing that fact for State Parks and there will be constant negotiations, as understood, between State Parks and Game and Fish and will subsequently come before the Commission for final approval. Commissioner Riordan stated he had the opportunity to meet with the State Parks Division as well as the Game and Fish and felt there was initially a lot of miscommunication on as to what the concepts were and what people were trying to do. As the group came together they started working at a fast pace and felt it is something that needs to go forward. Commissioner Jennifer Montoya asked Director Bell to describe the staff involved in the dialog and interchange of divisions participating. Director Bell stated at current time, most of the negotiations have been the Assistant Director’s. They are Tod Stevenson, Roberta Henry and himself. Although, as it moves forward Conservation Services Division will be involved. They are responsible for management for the Department and Commission owned properties. Commissioner Henderson asked Mr. Simon to give a sense of what State Park’s timing is to move forward on this. Henderson was interested as to when State parks wished to see the 900 acres transferred and what their plan is for matching LWCF. Simon replied that their JPA envisioned each of the parties going operational under the guidance of that JPA July 1 of this year. That was predicated some on each agency having sufficient resources to fulfill its duties there and they are in the midst of seeking those resources from the legislature for some of the operational needs. To a certain extent the answer is dependent on some of the operational funding that they may or may not get. In terms of the development plan, as soon as they are able to resolve the issue of which lands to obligate long term to the Water Conservation Program and make those expressions to the National Park Service, they are prepared to move forward. They do want to make sure that the development plans meet the approval of the Commission and the community but are very well positioned to make progress on that this year. Commissioner Rirodan voiced another concern. This was to assure there was no adverse economic impact to the town of Eagle Nest and that they did everything possible to make sure that State Parks does not compete with any of the overnight facilities and in effect try to enhance the economic development of the Village. Simon replied that in the conceptual development put forth there are no overnight accommodations. There are none being proposed at least not right now and this is a result from hearing concerns from the community on that issue.
Chairman Arvas stated the Commission would not give a motion, but an “OK” to go ahead and continue working with the Department and at the appropriate time State Parks could back before the Commission with a form of a formal proposal. At that time the Commission will act upon it.
John Dimas Asked if the State Parks Service was going to explain to the public the cost and whose pocket it will come out of.
Chairman Arvas commented 9 million dollars of the Game Protection Fund went into that effort.
Director Bell stated the park estimates are not yet final but they are looking at 2 million dollars total development for the park. Because of the Game Protection Fund, license fees being used for that acquisition assures free access for fishing. That will be part of this total package and that is one thing the Department has to work on with Parks wherein the Department either reduces acreage to provide free fishing access points and develop the rest of it or provide free access points within the park.
Secretary Prukop thanked the Commission for their time and stated she appreciated the Department’s attitude and openness on wanting to go forward on this issue. Also, in regard to other issues at Eagle Nest Lake, knows the Department has been hit substantially in terms of what they’ve been asked to fund, both in terms of purchase and now maintenance and repair to the dam. Along those lines Secretary Prukop offered assistance in any way possible as they move forward, especially in working with the Intra State Stream Commission as partnerships unfold.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 9. (Continued) License Revocations-Presented by Dan Brooks
Commission authority for reasonable notice and establish rules for revocation; Commission may revoke hunting and fishing license privilege for failure to pay penalty assessment; Commission may revoke hunting and fishing license privilege that is convicted in another state; Commission denial and revocation of outfitters and guides; Commission shall revoke license, certificate or permit after reasonable notice; and Commission revocation criteria including points, notice, hearing procedure and Commission decision. Also reviewed was participating states being able to have reciprocal recognition of suspension of wildlife license privileges of a person whose license privileges have been suspended by another participating state and enter our revocation (Wildlife Violations Only) with compact administrators. This requires automatic rejection of hunt application if individual is on revocation; requires boards (commission) to deny, revoke or suspend any person’s recreational or professional license/registration if not in compliance with court order (child support). A synopsis of each type of the above listed revocations was given.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Chairman Arvas asked Brooks how the Department kept track of the Parental Responsibility Act? Brooks replied Children, Youth and Families sends the Department a list on a monthly basis. The Department then compares it to its license buyer database. If their name appears, the process begins. Commissioner Riordan asked if notice was sent these individuals stating they were up for revocation. Brooks stated for Penalty Assessment a courtesy notice is sent them reminding them of the money owned. If no response is obtained a second notice is sent stating Contemplated Commission Action. Commissioner Riordan asked if those receiving a citation and fail to pay the fine in a timely manner if another notice be sent. Brooks answered yes. The practice adopted for the Penalty Assessment alone is the following: The first Notice is a courtesy letter stating they agreed to pay the Department by a specific date, please remit the $98.50. If that does not happen the Department then sends a second notice, which is the Notice of Commission Contemplated Action. Brooks pointed out that the only way a notice can be sent is with the address given the Department by the individual receiving the citation. Commissioner Sims asked Brooks if all the names presented to the Commission for revocation, should the Commission choose to revoke, would go into the compact List. Brooks replied that was incorrect. The only people’s names that go into the Compact List are those that violate the Wildlife Laws or the Outfitting and Guiding Laws associated with hunting. When it comes to the Penalty Assessment and the Parental Responsibility Act, these would not show up on the Compact List because that is not the agreement. The agreement is to try to keep people from violating wildlife laws in other states because they have been caught for doing that in the participating state.
Chairman Arvas entertained a motion to accept the Department’s License Revocation recommendation.
MOTION: Commissioner Sims moved to accept the License Revocation process. Seconded by Commissioner Jennifer Montoya.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Riordan requested further information on the revocation of Mr. Sears. Brooks laid the foundation because the current rule in place that the State Game Commission has is that they will consider any Hearing Officer’s recommendation and the written exception and nothing else without the whole Commission reviewing the actual proceedings. Brooks stated he would be able to talk briefly just about the proceedings provided Mr. Sears and the Hearing Officer’s recommendation. Brooks stated if the Commission wished to hear and weigh the evidence in its entirety the record would have to be transcribed because that is part of the rule. Brooks stated the Department’s documentation indicated that Rick Sears was on suspension in Colorado. Brooks asked the Commission to note that suspension vs. revocation because it is distinguished in the Guide and Outfitter Statutes. If you are on suspension in another state you cannot be registered until the suspension is lifted in that state. Revocation is once you have been revoked in another state you cannot participate in outfitter and guiding. Mr. Sears has a suspension in place that runs for a time period. If that would be lifted then he would be allowed to be a registered outfitter in New Mexico. Mr. Sears contested that. He put forth a defense with an attorney, the hearing was held in Santa Fe and the Hearing Officer, upon hearing the evidence, ruled that the Statutes are quite clear, it is mandatory that the language is “shall continue the suspension until it is lifted”. Mr. Sears also owes Colorado money.
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.
COMMISSION/DEPARTMENT DISCUSSION: Brooks added it is up to the Commission as to whether they wish to have the Department continue to present these orally, or begin placing them on the Consent Agenda. Chairman Arvas asked how past procedures were handled. Brooks replied the names were put forward on a Consent Agenda and then the Commission had the opportunity to look at them in the books. Brooks pointed out to the Commission that there are certain things that he will always come forward with. One is the Hearing Officer’s recommendation for those that enter an exception to the Hearing Officer’s recommendation and this will be read into the record. Chairman Arvas, if the Commission was in agreement, preferred doing what has been done in the past. Director Bell the Body needs to keep in mind that if in reviewing the package something is seen that seems out of the ordinary a motion can be made to remove revocation from the Consent Agenda and be made that next order of business. In doing so the Commission and Department would be free to discuss them as has been done today. Chairman Arvas asked Brooks on violations, suspensions and revocations if all states were about the same on Compact? Is there anything different on New Mexico’s or visa versa? Brooks stated yes. He feels New Mexico does a little more than other states because New Mexico participates in the Parental Responsibility Act. Most other states do not.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 10. Guide and Outfitter Registration (19.30.8 NMAC
Presented by Dan Brooks A brief presentation on Outfitter/Guide registration was presented before the Commission. The Department is requesting an amendment to Rule 19.30.8 NMAC, the Guide and Outfitter Registration Rule, including, but not limited to, history of violation and testing requirements. This amendment will make change to Rule 30.8 NMAC to make registration requirements for guides consistent with Section 17-2A-3 (C) NMSA 1978; apply similar consideration for becoming a registered Guide or Outfitter and would also remove inconsistencies with the rule changes approved by previous commission minutes and the rule on file with State Records and Archives. The focus on amending rules is to comply with statutory requirements that allow for feasible registration procedures and preserve professional integrity. On January 9, 2003, a meeting was held between representatives of the Department, the New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides, Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service. The Department recommended changes were discussed for legitimacy and necessity. Participants present were in agreement with the most changes, except for the procedures of testing. John Boretsky with the New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides agrees with limiting the number of times that an individual may take the required test.
COMMISSION/DEPARTMENT DISCUSSION Commissioner Riordan asked Brooks if all the tests were given in writing? Brooks replied that was correct. Commissioner Riordan asked if there were ever any situations where tests are administered orally to individuals who cannot read or write? Brooks stated the Department could do so if the individual made them aware of that. Commissioner Riordan asked if some kind of posting be given out to the outfitters and guides indicating that the Department could do it. Brooks replied that was possible. Commissioner Riordan also requested the tests be done in Spanish. Brooks stated it was a rarity in the past but if it is the desire of the Commission it can be done. Commissioner Rirodan’s concerns were of making it as easy and accessible as possible for individuals that wished to become guides and outfitters and attempt to encourage them for economic reasons. Brooks went on to inform the Commission that the Law Enforcement Division has taken over all the Outfitter/Guide registration and is attempting to make it a little more proper. They are also attempting to go back to the Statute and have added wording that is consistent with the Statute. That is because once an outfitter registers with the Department he may provide Proof of Liability Insurance that is required by Statute but he may not be keeping it up. The Department’s plan is to notify all registered outfitters, if the Commission decades to adopt this, by notice that Proof of Liability must be provided prior to registration. Applicants must provide proof of liability insurance of at least $500,000.
Rick Martin, Jemez Springs Reference Liability Insurance stated within the last few years the insurance companies have had a problem giving a blanket insurance policy if your are working out of the state or country. Consequently policies had to be obtained to cover them while working in New Mexico that is terminated upon entering another country. Under this proposal he may not have it at the time because it may be the time period he is working out of the country.
Mr. Martin asked if the Commission could come up with something that could handle that type of a problem? Brooks responded the Department currently feels the way the language is proposed is consistent with the Statute. What the Department is asking for is a copy of the insurance. The problem has been identified, it is required by Statute, and when it comes to the carrier it is out of the Department’s hands whether the person is in or out of country. As long as it is established that they have the insurance and it is in force, then if the outfitter has to make changes it is within their latitude as a businessman to do so. Director Bell added that the Statute is very clear. It states an outfitter, in order to be registered, must provide the Department with proof of liability insurance. The Department has no choice in that option. The best the Department can do is in order to work through that is, by Commission Rule, change the language that says, “Proof of insurance is required upon the date of application”. If an individual applies in April valid proof will be necessary by Statute that insurance is in place on the date of application. Director Bell reiterated the Statute clearly states “in order to be registered an outfitter must provide the Department with proof of $500,000 liability insurance. Martin asked if there would be a penalty charge? Director Bell confirmed that was correct in the penalty in the essence that one could not apply with the 12% pool. Additional penalties is how the hunts could be advertised hunts as a registered outfitter so a fraudulent act is not being committed in saying you are a registered outfitter in New Mexico when in fact you are not because the statutory requirements are not met to get registered. Martin asked if the wording could be changed where it could be said you were insured during any activities in New Mexico? Director Bell addressed the point with saying the Department will have to get through it this year and then, if appropriate, seek a Statutory change to accommodate the changing insurance laws. Until that changes the current Statute binds the Department. Brooks clarified what Mr. Martin is speaking of is outfitters must register by January 15th to be considered in the 12% pool then there is a $100.00 fee added on if they wait until February 15th. After that time frame they cannot put any hunters in the 12% pool. Even though April is being talked about Brooks wanted the Commission clear that the Rule is even prior to that. The names have to be in place so as the Department goes forward with the draw the database can recognize that outfitter number. Commissioner Sims stated, as he understood, that landowners are agents and asked if their employees needed to apply for the guiding service? Brooks replied there is an exemption in the Statute stating, “a landowner, his employee or agent does not have to be registered to carry hunting activities on their property or in association with landowner licenses”. That is an exemption and is what the legislators considered when they passed that law. All the registration criteria in the Outfitter and Guide Rule do not apply to anyone, his landowner or his agent. This is for those that are registered. Director Bell, on advise of Council, stated this Rule was properly noticed and open well in advance of the 10 day Rule in the Open Meetings Act for rule making that the Commission just adopted. But, as a procedural matter it would behoove the Department to consider the Rule now open and receive public comment and then ask that the Commission make the final adoption on the Rule after a comment period of 30 days and make the finale Rule changes at the next scheduled meeting of the NM State Game Commission.
John Boretsky, Executive Director of the Council of Outfitters and Guides Boretsky stated this was subject to quite a bit of discussion. Not only did the problem brought up by Mr. Martin occur, but also the fact that their public land outfitters work on Special Use Permits issued either by Forest Service of Bureau of Land Management. There is a conflict with the permitting system and with the State Statute and Regulations in that the Forest Service is asking the insurance to run during the life of the permit which is normally from the end of May until the end of May the following year. Their permitting system goes into effect during that timeframe and so there is a conflict with the insurance. It is something that is going to take further discussion before a conclusion is obtained.
Chairman Arvas stated the Commission, with the recommendation of Director Bell, would wait on this item in terms of Commission endorsement until the next scheduled meeting.
Brooks assured the Commission the Department will continue to work with the Council of Outfitters and Guides, Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.
John Dimas Opposed to Guide and Outfitter Law.
Director Bell pointed out the Statute mandates the State Game Commission adopt those rules necessary for implementing the provisions of the Guide and Outfitters Statutes.
Michael Pacheco Asked why there would not be primitive camping allowed at Eagle Nest Lake Park? Does not feel it would hurt economics for the town.
Chairman Arvas felt certain Director Bell would take those comments into consideration when he meets with State Parks.
Presentation of Appreciation Plaque
Director Bell presented a plaque of appreciation to Past Commissioner Steve Padilla for his contributions to New Mexico’s wildlife and the Department of Game and Fish. Steve Padilla was a wildlife advocate long before his tenure on the Commission and is a true friend of the sportsman. Steve taught many Department employees how to work with the legislature and his work for wildlife continues as he assists the Department even though he is no longer on the Commission. His list of legislative successes would take hours, but a few noteworthy ones are license fee increases; Bighorn and elk enhancement, which earns hundreds of thousands of dollars for wildlife improvement in the State of New Mexico; License plate initiatives; and successfully lobbied a number of salary increases, although vetoed by the Governor, for Department staff.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 11. Disposal of Fixed Assets
Director Bell gave biological background on Patrick Block Block is the Department’s Administrative Services Division Chief. He has been with the Department since 1989 and has been in his current position sine 1999. Patrick is a graduate of New Mexico State University and holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Finance. Prior to his promotion to Division Chief, he was the agency’s budget director, contract officer and procurement specialist. Patrick was the recipient of the 2001-2002 Administrative Project Award for his role in initiating Internet hunting and fishing license sales, and credit card acceptance by Department offices. He is active in the community, working as a volunteer for several nonprofit organizations. Besides being a hunter and fisherman he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Children’s Foundation and is a member of the NM Wildlife Federation and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Presented by Patrick Block - The Department requested approval of the State Game Commission to sell six mobile homes that are no longer cost effective to maintain and have been replaced with new mobile homes. The Department utilized the mobile homes to provide housing for fish hatchery employees who are required to reside on the hatchery property. Block stated the request is in accordance with §13-6-1 (sale of Public Property) of the New Mexico Statutes. This section of law requires that an agency’s governing body approve the disposal of personal property prior to the disposing of the items. The auction will be held at the State Police Complex on Saturday July 19, 2003 if approved by the Commission.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Henderson asked Block where the proceeds go from the sale of the mobile homes. Block stated they were originally purchased out of Game Protection money so the money will be deposited back to that fund.
Chairman Arvas entertained a motion to accept the Department’s recommendation.
MOTION: Commissioner Jennifer Montoya moved to accept the Department’s request to sell the mobile homes. Seconded by Commissioner Sims.
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.
Director Bell commented the Department added for the first time to the Agenda 2 general public comments. The purposes are to accommodate any public that may not be able to stay for the entire meeting but still wished to address the Commission. These comments are for items already presented by the Department.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 12. General Public Comments: (Comments limited to 3 minutes.)
Steve Emery, Past Commissioner Supports primitive camping on Eagle Nest Lake. Would like to see eastern access to the lake redeveloped.
Larry Caudill Stated there would be a Legislative Hearing on funding for Conservation Services and requested to comment before the Commission on an item not yet heard. Chairman Arvas felt it would be to Mr. Caudill’s best interest to first hear the Department’s presentation and asked Director Bell if he had any preference. Director Bell stated it was not his preference but in deference to the hearing schedule he would have no objection to a few brief statements expressing his concerns about bears. Director Bell although, reminded Mr. Caudill and the rest of the Body that there is not a rule change being sought today. This is a foundational basis for the Commission to begin understanding bear and lion biology for future decisions. Caudill understood and wished, for the record requested the Commission place on the Agenda for the next meeting consideration of a change of the currently approved bear season.
Chairman Arvas introduced Oscar Simpson who has just been appointed as the President of New Mexico Wildlife Federation.
Public Comment continued:
Jan Hayes, Sandia Mountain Bear Watch Requested Commission address change in the bear hunt for 2003-04 and to place this issue on the April Commission meeting.
Director Bell felt it best served that the Department’s biological presentation be heard as scheduled on the Agenda and asked the Commission to rely on the professional management of the Department to guide those decisions.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 13. Legislative Update
Presented by Director Bell It has been an extremely busy legislative session but the mood seems good and the Department well received.
All budget issues have been resolved where there are no longer significant concerns over the diversion of Game Protection Fund money that would jeopardize federal revenues.
House Bill 6, Game and Fish Appropriation Act, has had its final hearing and rolled up into House Bill 2 and has moved over to the Senate.
An amendment has been put on in the Senate to increase the General Fund Appropriation to the conservation Services Division by $50,000.00 bringing that total to $175,000.00 total. The $652,000.00 to Energy and Minerals has been deleted from that Bill and the language corrected on the $1.077 million to Environment Department.
The Department was successful in obtaining an amendment for repairs to Eagle Nest Lake, with the Capital Appropriation originally 6.2 million from Game Protection Fund. The Department was successful on getting an amendment to that in Committee reduced down to 3 million from Game Protection Fund for Eagle Nest Lake. This assures that should a license fee increase not come next year that there would be adequate cash in Department budget to extend longevity.
House Bill 267, Jurisdiction of Wildlife, has been tabled and is no longer moving at the request of the sponsor. The official state reptile amphibian is moving along nicely. However, there are a number of other bills affecting that same section of law. The best guess is they will attempt to combine those measures so they all receive a favorable vote.
House Bill 516, allowing for anglers throughout the State to fish with 2 fishing rods providing they first pay a fee of $3.00 has been amended at the Departments request. The reason being the persons fishing in warm water reservoir of the lake would not be affected by the law until 1 year from now in order to give the Department time to educate them since they have currently been receiving that opportunity free of charge. It would take effect on July 1 of this year for those fishing in trout waters that want to use 2 rods. That Bill has completed its Committee assignments and passed the House and is now moving on towards the Senate.
House Bill 546, changing the quota on resident, non-resident licenses to 85%, 15% non-resident, has received 3 committee referrals and has not yet received any committee hearings.
House Bill 560, Bear Proof Garbage Containers, and a Bill giving the State Game Commission authority to implement regulations declaring certain areas as nuisance areas. Once declared it will require public and private owners in those areas to install and implement bear resistant garbage containers. That Bill has completed its House assignments and was passed on House Floor and will now move over to Senate.
House Bill 565, Hunting and Fishing Licenses for Veterans, was tabled in Committee. It is not expected to move further.
House Bill 610, Wild Horse Protection giving the State Game Commission and Department a mandate to create and Adopt a Horse Program for wild horses that were not covered under the Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of the Federal Government. The Department has successfully secured amendments to that Bill putting the authority back to the Livestock Board where it is believed it appropriately belongs.
House Bill 656, Creating a License Plate Feature and Artwork to generate revenues for the Share with Wildlife Program, had a hearing today and was combined with some 22 other license plate initiatives going forward with the intent to make an available spot on the license plates for anyone’s favorite sticker. Director Bell felt it would diminish the revenues that come into that program and it is hoped that initiative can be set aside since the Department’s license plate initiative is revenue generating instead of prestige. It has currently been combined with the other 21 Bills.
House Bill 764, Mitigated Dangers Associated with Wolf Release, concurrent Bill in Senate and hearing scheduled for tomorrow. It is not known where that will go but it has a variety of problems relative to federal law since it demands the Department capture any wolves that are on non-federal lands and do DNA testing. Director Bell felt it was a direct violation of current federal law under the Endangered Species Act so if it were to pass the Department could not properly implement it.
The Bighorn Sheep Habitat Improvement is an initiative by Representative Moore at the request of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep appropriating an additional $100,000 from the Bighorn Sheep Enhancement Fund to the Department of Game and Fish that a variety of projects have been listed. Problems are not expected in getting that money approved.
Eagle Nest State Park Addressed previously.
Hunting and Fishing on Posted Private Property changes the language of unlawful hunting and fishing laws to read that Department of Game and Fish Officers will confiscate game animals killed on private property if the hunter does not have written permission. That Bill has passed House Energy and Minerals Natural Resources Committee and is now moving on to House Judiciary Committee.
Sur-Tax Bill, one Bill tabled in Tax and Revenue. A subsequent Bill introduced by Representative Cole passed the House Tax and Revenue Committee. This Bill would generate approximately 3 ½ million dollars to Conservation Services and Wildlife Conservation Act initiatives through a mandatory payment on State Income Tax of a maximum of $12.00 per household. It is not known how that Bill will fare in Finance and there is a hearing on that Bill this afternoon in Senate Conservation.
Senate Bill 737, Criminal Trespass Posting and Notices, takes the Trespass Statute and makes it a strict liability law where if a hunter is on the wrong side of the fence they are in violation of trespass weather or not the fence was posted. Director Bell stated he had no problems with the Bill in particular but did have a problem as an enforcement officer in determining how in the world the State is going to determine burden of proof for that criminal violation.
Senate Bill 59, Shooting Artificial Game Birds, making it unlawful to shoot at artificial wildlife and treating them in those instances as if they were real wildlife has successfully passed the Senate and got a do-pass in its first House Committee yesterday with no opposition.
Two elk licenses for the Hunt of a Lifetime Individuals is moving slowly. It did get a do-pass from Senate Conservation and has yet to be scheduled in the Senate Public Affairs Committee.
The Governor’s Deer Enhancement Permits are now, as a result of a Senate Floor Amendment, called the Lt. Governor’s Deer Enhancement Permits. It did pass with that amendment on the Senate Floor and has begun moving through the House.
Donation of Wild Game Products to Non-Profits passed the Senate Finance Committee and will move on through House Committees.
Game and Fish Liability for Property Damage, sponsored by Senator Jennings, holds the Department liable if property damage caused by wildlife is not resolved within 90 days.
The Game Depredation Program Amendments received a do-pass from Senate Conservation and the Department is awaiting a Hearing on that Bill.
There is a Bill “Access to Leased Public Lands” that would require landowners who receive grazing permits on State Land to allow hunter access through their private property in order to allow the use of the State land that is secured by the Department under a lease.
Game Park and Enclosure deletes all the language regarding game animals in game parks from Statute pertaining to licensing maintaining game parks. The Department’s biggest issue in that is the concern of wildlife disease that could incur. This has not yet received a hearing. Game Park fence height removes the height of game fences from a level of 8 ft. to 6 ft.
There are several Memorials that direct activity, none that are particularly onerous to the Department, moving forward in various rates.
Chairman Arvas hoped the public could see that the Department has had a very active Legislative Session to date and thanked Director Bell and his staff.
PUBLIC COMMENT: None
Chairman Arvas entertained a motion to enter into a Closed Executive Session pursuant to Section NMSA 10-15-1 of the Open Meeting Act.
MOTION: Commissioner Alfredo Montoya moved to enter in Closed Executive Session pursuant to statute with legal individuals that will provide the Commission guidance to discuss land acquisition and pending litigation. Seconded by Commissioner Jennifer Montoya.
Director Bell called the roll:
Commissioner Henderson Yes
Commissioner Alfredo Montoya Yes
Commissioner Jennifer Montoya Yes
Commissioner Peter Pino Yes
Commissioner Guy Riordan Absent
Commissioner Leo Sims Absent
The motion carried.
Director Bell stated the Commission is now in Closed Executive Session.
Chairman Arvas entertained a motion to enter back into Open Session and stated that the matters discussed in the Closed Executive Session were limited to the items on the agenda for the closed session and no action was taken in the closed session.
MOTION: Commissioner Alfredo Montoya moved to enter back into Open Session. Seconded by Commissioner Henderson.
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 14. Eagle Nest Lake Discussion
AGENDA ITEM NO. 15. Biological Presentations
Director Bell stated his intention is to bring forward to the Commission two presentations on issues and items that the Department knows will continue to be controversial. The two items scheduled for today was status of bear and lion in New Mexico.
Biography Brief on William Dunn presented by Director Bell
Dunn has a BS is Wildlife Biology from the University of Montana and a MS in Biology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Dunn has an extensive background as a Field Biologist; 13 years with the NM Department of Game and Fish including positions of Bighorn Biologist, GIS Program Manager and Supervising Biologist, Predator and Game Bird Management. Dunn has been published in a number of scientific and technical publications including articles on: Southern oscillation index as an indicator of encounters between humans and black bears in new Mexico; Energetic consequences of habitat fragmentation to wintering mule deer; Using thermal infrared sensing to count elk in the southwestern United States; Man and wild sheep, can they coexist; Evaluating bighorn habitat, a landscape approach; and Long range plan for the management of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep in New Mexico.
Black Bear Management in New Mexico
Presented by William Dunn Black bears are one of the more charismatic species for which the Department of Game and Fish is responsible. Its management has been challenging, and at times, controversial. To meet the challenges, the Department sponsored one of the most intensive studies ever undertaken on bear ecology in the west. Foundational information essential to management, such as reproductive potential, range, and food habits were provided by the study. The Department has used much of the information in current management and will prepare a formal management plan in the near future. In addition, the Department has an innovative program to inform the public on how to be safe in bear country. A slide presentation on management of New Mexico’s black bears was presented before the Commission highlighting the following: Bear research field study; population characteristics; habitat quality; tooth aging; bear population model relating bear populations to harvest, weather and habitat; what bears eat, grasses, insects, oak, juniper, pinyon pine, etc.; population dynamics; home ranges, movements and harvest. Dunn also spoke on the success of Operation Bear Den with 22-orphaned bear cubs released. Reviewed were future plans in managing urban bears (the Sandia Study); Safety in bear country (expanding efforts); Counting bears (what’s cost effective?); Modeling (integration for harvest management) and a Bear Management Plan.
John Dimas Stated some time back the Department put together an integrated system called Bison M and asked Dunn if the information presented had been introduced into this?
Dunn replied the information from the Bear Study is being integrated into Bison-M.
Michael Pacheco In 2001 there was an acorn shortage, drought and fire. Feels it looks dire for the bear population again this year and they need more help then they have been given to assist in their numbers and survival rate. Recommended suspending all hunting on bears this year until more information is obtained.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Jennifer Montoya Reference Dunn’s statement earlier of starting hunt later in season was more beneficial because there are fewer sows at that time because they have gone into hibernation if he could describe why the decision was made to begin hunt on August 1? Dunn stated the Commission made the decision and that is why it begins on August 1. Chairman Arvas asked if it was the recommendation of the Department? Dunn replied the recommendation of the Department was then and added he did not say it was beneficial, he said there would be fewer females harvested the later the season was pushed. The reason behind an earlier season was because of a depredation problem. The Department also had to consider some of the problems with human/bear interactions in some of the areas. Commissioner J. Montoya asked if what Dunn was saying was that the season was opening in August to take care of nuisance animals? Director Bell stated that was correct. That was an intentional strategy in order to provide sport hunter opportunity in those areas of extremely high human/bear interaction wherein sport hunters are harvesting the bears as opposed to Department Officers. It was an intentional action in order to bring the bear populations down in those localized areas where extremely high human/bear actions and utilizing sport hunting as a method of achieving that goal. Commissioner J. Montoya felt there should be an opportunity for the Commission to attempt understanding the concerns of the Sandia Bear Watch and asked if this was an issue to be placed on the next agenda and view new information that has come to light considering a continued drought? Chairman Arvas stated they would not be ignored in any manner. As far as it happening at the next meeting was something the Commission would decide in the near future. There are so many irons in the fire at this time that the Commission needs to decide which ones are more important but assured it would be taken into the highest level of consideration. Commissioner stated she wanted to feel confident the overall state wide and local population was not being damaged. It seems like some feel it is and feels some sort of forum to hash this out is needed. Chairman Arvas replied the Department is aware of what is going on and will be decided upon in the near future.
Jay Taylor, Secretary of New Mexico Houndsmen Asked if the Department felt the population was stable, increasing or decreasing at this time? Also, from members of his organization reports, it is a very healthy population at this time and probably a growing population. Encouraged Commission not to stop hunting all together.
Jeff Davis Department in possession of statistics that he cannot improve on. Feels it is a simple subtraction to arrive at what might be the current population. The big unknown factor is recruitment and the natural replacement. Feels there is not a good handle on that.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Henderson stated he shared Commissioner Jennifer Montoya’s concerns of airing this issue. Feels conditions are changing and thinks it will be appropriate at the appropriate time to have the debate amongst the Commission. Has a high degree of confidence in the gathering of information but has a concern that the predictive model that was developed during a period of time of high moisture and decisions based upon that. His concern was making predictions on the harvest based upon wet years as we go into dry years. Dunn commented there were some dry years in that 8-year period. So the Department does have a fairly good mix. Perhaps not as dry as say 2 years ago but the there is enough variability in the data to where it is felt the predictive value is good.
Beverly Land, Raton, NM In Raton in 2001 over 100 bears were either shot or overdosed. Since that time she has not seen a cub in Raton and noticed an article from Don Jones who wrote in the Wildlife Magazine that he also has not seen cubs. This is another thing to take into consideration on drought and burned habitat in that area. Feels prior Commission did not take into consideration any of this.
Gordon, Cedar Crest Area Pro-bear. In favor of proceeding with the Sandia/Monzano hunt. There are a lot more bears in those areas than the biologist’s study show. Since there have been more bear complaints and bears needing location the numbers need to be reduced. This is a human generated problem. Electric fencing and bear proof containers would take care of the majority of bear complaints.
Dale Jones, Wildlife Society Encouraged Department and Commission in age class information. With the trends in harvest if age data accompanied that it would give a lot of secrets that are currently a mystery.
Dr. Paul Polechia Feels Rick Winslow’s proposal on the dispersal behavior, habitat usage and travel corridors of relocated nuisance bears is a very good one. It gets at some key questions that are needed to more wisely manage the Monzano/Sandia Mountain bear population.
David Pacheco Harvest should be 7 to 10 percent to keep bear population stable.
Status of mountain lions in New Mexico
Presented by Rick Winslow A slide presentation on basic biological information of the mountain lion in New Mexico was presented before the Commission. The presentation consisted of the following: Current Status of cougar management; San Andres Study; population dynamics; population statistics; distribution and density; management history; current sport harvest management; total harvest; economic importance; and management concerns. Strategic Plan references and possible impacts for sport hunting and fishing program Objective 3 are to reduce the level of coyotes and mountain lion predation on target populations of deer and bighorn sheep, respectively, through 2005. Wildlife Depredation and Nuisance Abatement Program Objective 4 is to keep the public safe from harm during encounters with potentially dangerous wildlife and Administration program Objective 6 that the public recognizes the Department as being a knowledgeable and competent manager of the State’s wildlife. A new 5 year Management Plan is being looked into and will consist of cost effective population survey techniques; population modeling to improve harvest management; and determine effect of lion removal on desert bighorn sheep.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Rirodan asked if the income generated from license tags was $450,000. Winslow replied that is in addition to the Guide and Outfitter and License and Tag income. License and Tags add up to approximately $150,000 a year for the cougar. Commissioner Rirodan, for clarification, asked if one cougar could kill 52 deer a year, and also bighorn sheep. Winslow replied the potential for it to be that high a kill was correct.
Commissioner Pino stated he waited to make a comment on bear and cougar presentation. At the first meeting he indicated that throughout the term as a Commissioner he was going to try to talk for those that cannot talk for themselves. The cougar and bear in that order have significant religious significance in the pueblo. They are the natural hunters. The order they come in is cougar, bear, badger, wolf, eagle and mole. The Commission and staff need to look at them differently than deer and elk. Deer and elk are killed to provide the food chain for the hunters.
They are the biggest competitors to human hunters. Should they be deprived of their habitat modified for our own needs and desires? Nature needs to be allowed to take care of its own. We are part of nature; nature does not belong to us. We have to manage so they can also have food to eat and the land and space to roam around. It is not the animal’s fault; it is ours. People have built homes in the wildlife’s habitat and we have to modify our ways and not try to modify the ways of those that cannot speak for themselves. Commissioner Pino went on to say it was going to be difficult working as a Commissioner because they would have to look at the generations yet unborn and not look at grabbing all the gusto in our lifetime. We cannot look at ourselves and say I have killed 500, 5,000 deer in by lifetime. How many of the hunters for bear and cougar used the whole kill? In August, the bear’s fur is not in its prime. Our forefathers and elders emphasized that if you harvest anything from the wild you harvest the same time you harvest your crops and that is in the fall. He remembered as a child the seasons were 2 to 2 ½ months long for all the hunts, now they are 6 months long. That is too long. He feels as humans, the animals are treated like they were treated in past as Indian people. We are trying to put them on reservations as they (Indians) were put on with limited land space. Humans need that space to be able to provide food for their families and also looking at the long term and future generations. So when we have this dialog my fellow Commissioner’s and members of the staff he would like to have some discussions along these lines and recommend that when cougar and bear are discussed that they be treated a little different than deer and elk because they are religiously significant to pueblo people. The Indian people draw spiritual powers from those hunters and those issues need to be looked at. Commissioner Pino did not know what the solutions are at this point in time but felt more time needed to be spent having discussion. He sensed there was disagreement on different people wanting different things and if all continue to have dialog a solution will be found to the issues that confront them. Commissioner Pino encouraged the Commissioners, staff and public to not just air problems but to come up with solutions and ideas. The Commission does not have a crystal ball to tell what best but it will take all to figure out what is best for New Mexico as humans, animals and plants.
John Dimas Population of deer is down to nothing. Asked if Hornocker Study was used on this? Director Bell stated the bulk of cougar work is derived from the Hornocker Study and the extent possible all programs are integrated into those consistent databases.
Lisa Jennings, Animal Protection of NM Eager to work with Commission. Organization has been working for years to bring sound scientifically based cougar management to New Mexico. They have been a little disappointed the last several years with the decisions made by the past Commission and looks forward to working with Department staff under the direction of the Commission to bring more sound management.
David, Las Vegas, NM If funding could be found people could plant berries, etc., it would help give food to the animals.
Jay Taylor Disagreed somewhat with Commissioner Pino. The Indian people control most of the Indian Land. This is state land and feels the lion and bear need to be treated the same as the other natural resources of this state. They need to be managed. Fish and Game needs to be given the tools to manage. He is a hunter, he want the animals out there too, but is strictly against getting rid of all the animals. He hunts with dogs but does not harvest them; he just likes to chase them with dogs during hunting season. Mr. Taylor stated he gets concerned when the talk of stopping hunting seasons altogether begins. There is not enough information out there to do that.
AGENDA ITEM NO. 16. Commission/Department Discussion
In the essence of time Director Bell stated he was going to dispense with a few of the listed items. These are items typically brought up for the Commission’s knowledge and consideration.
Existing Game Commission Policies
Presented by Director Larry Bell Items in hardcopy in Commission books. Encouraged Commission to take home and review them for consideration as to whether they wish for any of them to become their policies. Director Bell recommended the Commission consider abolishment of the Exotic Species Policy as the current Importation Regulation addresses each and every one of those issues.
6 Commission directives on wolf management
The Arizona State Game Commission has invited this Commission to a Joint Meeting with it some time in May. If the Commission wishes to do that then the Department will bring forward the Six Commission Directives on Wolf Management at that time. They have requested this Commission meet with them to work jointly on wolf then return to this State to make any appropriate decisions. The date and location are not yet known.
Director Bell stated the law requires the Depredation Update be provided to the Commission on a periodic basis and the time to bring that forward is now. Brandon Griffith was asked to give a summary to the Commission.
Conservation Education Center, Appointment of a Commissioner to Serve on the Committee
Director Bell asked the Commission if they wished to appoint one or more of its members to serve on the committee that will be doing the design work and approval of the ultimate design on the Conservation Educational Center. Chairman Arvas responded he had visited with Commissioner Henderson and he has shown interest. The remainder of the Commission was asked if they also had an interest in serving on the committee. None responded in the affirmative. Commissioner Henderson will serve on the committee.
Presented by Brandon Griffith A depredation update for fiscal year 2003 was presented before the Commission. The presentation identified and summarized the majority of nuisance wildlife and depredation complaints received from July 1 through December 31, 2002. It included the Department’s efforts towards immediate resolution of complaints and illustrated the Department’s continuing efforts towards providing permanent or long-term resolution methods. Items reviewed before the Commission follows: Depredation laws (Chapter 17-2-7.2); Big Game Depredation Damage Stamp (Chapter 17-3-13.3 and 17-3-13.4); regulation requirements (Title 19.30.2); and complaint percentages. Bear, elk, deer and mountain lion complaints through the 2nd quarter were also reviewed and consisted of complaint summaries and resolution methods. Griffith also spoke on game proof fencing as a permanent resolution, completed and anticipated projects, and cost summary.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Sims asked Griffith who owns the fence upon completion? Griffith replied upon completion of the fence the Department will maintain ownership of it for a period of 9 years at which time it will be handed over to the landowner. The fence will remain up for a period of 18 years. Chairman Arvas asked who’s responsibility it would be to maintain the fence? Griffith answered during the first 9 years it would be maintained by the landowner and the Department may supply materials for the fence, the 2nd 9 years the landowner would be responsible.
John Dimas Felt this was a violation of the Anti-donation Clause.
Director Bell clarified that is the exact reason the fence has a life of 18 years. On accelerated depreciation schedule commonly accepted throughout the accounting world the Department can do an accelerated depreciation of the fence in the 9 year period reducing it to the point where it no longer has any value to the State at which time it becomes in ownership of the landowner. This is based upon advice by the Attorney General’s Office advice and consent.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Henderson mentioned his concerns that the citizen participation for the Habitat Stamp Improvement Program on the Sikes Act Committees may not be continued and asked Dale Hall to explain what the program is and what needs to be done to assure citizen participation did continue. Director Bell stated the Sikes Act Program is a $5.00 Stamp Collected from all people hunting and fishing on federal lands. Since the beginning of time the Department has utilized citizen participation committees in designing and developing those projects to advance wildlife habitat management on those lands and bring forth projects. A few years back the Department received a letter from the Attorney General’s Office stating there could be no standing committees appointed by the Commission absent the Statute providing the opportunity to do so. There is currently no such a Statute. That law goes on to read that if the Board or Commission wishes to adopt or appoint a standing committee they may do so only with concurrence of the Governor and the committee may stand for a period of 2 years with 1 extension of a maximum of 2 years for a total of 4 years. The first 2-year period authorized by Governor Johnson will expire this year. The Department is seeking permission of this Commission, by letter conveyed to the Governor from its Chairman, asking the Governor to extend the Sikes Act Citizen Committees for another 2 years. The Department has a letter to the Governor requesting this and needs only the concurrence of the Commission and signature of the Chairman. With the consensus of the Commission Chairman Arvas stated the letter would be signed.
Director Bell added it would benefit the Department to have 1 Commission representative to the Sikes Act Committee that serves in a liaison role and also being able to authorize expenditures of emergency funds under the Sikes Act Program. Commissioner Jennifer Montoya volunteered to represent the Commission.
Chairman Arvas established a committee to be called The Marquez Wildlife Investigation Committee and named Commissioner’s Riordan and Sims and himself on the committee.
Marquez Wildlife Investigative Committee
Presented by Reagan Smetak An Elk Regional Management Information booklet was given to the Commission to give an idea of what has happened with elk in all regions. Smetak stated management approach has been changed to take into consideration many game management units where applicable. The population goal for Unit 34 is 1000 and this was developed in the long-range plan. This was presented before the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management with the question if they felt this number of animals could be supported under the current situation and condition. Both entities felt it possible. Population has steadily increased and the Department has aggressively attempted to bring the high numbers down to what the Forest Service feels can be supported by the Unit. Despite the drought and lack of production, 13 hundred elk were counted in the winter surveys. This will be run through a model to project a population estimate. This number is only what has been observed. The Forest Service has expressed concern over the forage in Unit 34 and what is happening. In March and April the Department is planning to have a population reduction hunt with a maximum number of 360 population reduction hunters throughout the game management unit with cow only bag limit with an additional 100 hunters being looked at for April. The Department can use the Director’s discretion and draw an extra 20% with cow only bag limit for the fall. There is a possibility of bringing the population down to about 800 by the year 2004.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Sims asked if the mid-March to April hunt was before or the elk shed their antlers? Smetak replied the spring is when the elk shed their antlers. Commissioner Sims’ concern is of having problems with hunters in the field shooting an antler less bull? Director Bell stated the Department has employed this strategy on an emergency basis in the past and have had around 90% success as far as the cow segment. Of the 2000 forage production it was about in the year 2000 when the Forest Service was asked what current range conditions could support. The Forest Service came back and said given the forage conditions of today they could support 1000 elk. It can be seen now that the forage condition of year 2000 no longer exists on that range. This is not a cattle issue. There are currently no cattle on this allotment but up to 300 anticipated if they get 1 inch of new growth to determine range readiness prior to stocking April 15. Director Bell stated the bottom line is that Unit 34 is at the very low forage production of the year 2002 with more elk than the forage production of 2000 could sustain by almost double. There is also the possibility of this tripling. It is a very difficult decision but if not responded to the elk will be doomed to starvation. It is an unpleasant measure to all but a measure that needs to be employed to assure long-term sustainability of the population of Unit 34. Commissioner Montoya commented she had received calls from constituents who live in Dona Anna and Otero Counties concerned that the cows to be killed are 60 days from term and this could be a potential media spectacle. Also, it is felt by the hunter and guides that the Department is choosing one economic endeavor over another. Director Bell stated the Department shares the same concern about public sentiment over killing near term pregnant cows and the number to be taken can be reduced in hopes that a more limited measure is still somewhat successful in addressing this situation. The de-population of cattle is a non-issue. The permitees have taken a greatly reduced number of cattle for the last 5 years in part due to forage conditions and in part other issues they have between them and the Forest Service. The whole issue is further compounded by the presence of the spotted owl. It demands 4 inches of stubble height in order to maintain adequate habitat. That has caused the reduction of all grazing animals in that range. Director Bell encouraged the Commission to look at the broader picture in its decision. Commissioner Rirodan felt elk would move to better feeding grounds and stated he had a problem with knocking down 1/4th of the population based on a prediction on what the forage may or may not be. He agreed with Commissioner J. Montoya on not taking elk while close to term. Director Bell stated the Department is then requesting direction of the Commission on this issue. The Department’s job is to lay out the conditions and an array of actions and if the Commission is dis-satisfied with killing cows this time of year, which is also very distasteful to the Department, other proposals will be sought with the Forest Service. Commissioner Pino felt in order to address the number of elk in that area the number of licenses for the fall cow hunt could be increased. Director Bell stated that could be done. The current hunt for the fall should bring the population down to approximately 1000 animals so it should not need to be increased to bring it down. The Department only intention of having any hunts at this time would be to reduce the pressure on those meadow and riparian areas in order to allow the spring green up of that forage and allowing the initial stages of growth before it gets eaten down to nothing. Current strategy will reduce that population to near the 1000 animals or just below that before the hunting season. Commissioner J. Montoya does not want to sacrifice the health of the watershed by overgrazing but it does sound like obligations under the Endangered Species Act, we might open ourselves to potential litigation if the elk the Commission is responsible for overgraze these meadows and damage the habitat for the prairie species of the spotted owl. Director Bell stated the Department is already in litigation over the spotted owl.
R.L. Posey Thanked Director Bell for taking the initiative to reduce the Herd. In 1967 there were no elk in Unit 34. Two years ago the Department estimated there were 4000. The Department established 3 Task Forces to study the problem and make recommendations to manage elk. He has attended Task Force meetings and feels the Department is doing a terrific job to get a handle on the situation.
Andy Dimas, Former BLM Biologist for the State of NM Did work on project and agrees that the numbers of elk are too high. Does not agree with the idea of hunting cow elk in March and April but if this was recommended by the Forest Service felt it was a different consideration but felt reduction of the herd should be emergency basis only.
Evaldo Gallegos In favor of Commissioner Pino’s idea to hunt in October. Concerned of number of permits given out after quality seasons. Would be willing to pay an additional $35.00 for an additional cow hunt to hunt during the same time archery quality hunt on.
Jess Rankin, Hunting Outfitter Feels elk numbers have gone down the last few years in Unit 34 along with the quality of the bulls. Unit being over hunted and Unit should be managed as a quality unit.
John Dimas Asked if the Department has met with the Mescalero Tribe for discussion since this is a mutual problem between them and public land?
Director Bell The Department has been working on this issue for a number of years. The Mescalero Tribe has been uncooperative, they do not share harvest data or information with the Department. However, the Department biologists believe because of the terrain and the climate that there is very little to no movement from the reservation onto public lands. There is no reason for those elk to move, it is not a winter to summer migration, nor high to low elevation. Unless the range conditions on the Mescalero get greatly diminished there is no reason for the elk to move. There is a large working group working on this for 2 years with all kinds of agency representatives and there has been increasing agreement to decrease the population. What has not been ultimately decided, as a collaborative effort is what the bottom line number needs to be and that currently varies among the group between 1000 and 2,500. Commissioner Rirodan stated Director Bell always comes up with some idea to make the Commission look good. He felt Director Bell was suggesting the Commission begin using some dispersal techniques during this April and March situation and then monitor the elk herd. Commissioner Rirodan suggested putting the depredation hunt on hold. Chairman Arvas stated if that were the suggestion to the Department they would yield to that.
David Vacker, General Manager of the Vermijo Park Ranch Complemented the Commission and Department on the great job done in catching poachers in the northeast portion of the State, especially the officers out of the Raton Area Office.
Chairman Arvas entertained a motion to enter into Closed Executive Session pursuant to Section NMSA Statute 10*15-A (H-2, H-7 and H-8) of the Open Meeting Act in order to discuss limited issues of personnel matters, litigation and land acquisition.
MOTION: Commissioner Alfredo Montoya moves to enter into Executive Session. Seconded by Commissioner Sims.
Director Bell called the roll:
Commissioner Henderson Yes
Commissioner Alfredo Montoya Yes
Commissioner Jennifer Montoya Yes
Commissioner Peter Pino Yes
Commissioner Guy Riordan Yes
Commissioner Leo Sims Yes
The motion carried.
Director Bell stated the Commission is now in Closed Executive Session.
Chairman Arvas entertained a motion to enter back into Open Session and stated that the matters discussed in the Closed Executive Session were limited to the items on the agenda for the closed session and no action was taken in the closed session.
MOTION: Commissioner Alfredo Montoya moved to enter back into Open Session. Seconded by Commissioner Sims.
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.
MOTION: Commissioner Rirodan moves to accept Dr. Bruce Thompson as new Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Seconded by Commissioner Jennifer Montoya.
COMMISSION DISCUSSION: None
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carries.
Dr. Bruce Thompson This is a great outfit and has worked around the Department of Game and Fish for 13 years and is looking forward to working with Department personnel and the Commission as a Rule Making Body.
NEXT MEETING: April 24, 2003 in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Chairman Arvas entertained a motion to adjourn.
MOTION: Commissioner Rirodan moves to adjourn. Seconded by Commissioner Sims.
John Dimas Has been coming to Commission meetings for 35 years. Every time a new Director is appointed the public was allowed to have a say. Is not in agreement with the way this was done.
MOTION REITERATED: Commissioner Rirodan reiterates motion to adjourn. Seconded by Commissioner Sims.
VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.
Meeting adjourned at 5:49 p.m.
Larry G. Bell, Secretary to the Commission Date
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Tom Arvas, Chairman Date
New Mexico State Game Commission
Transcribed by: Verena Lopez