UPDATED: February 11, 2003



Best Western Motel Stevens Inn
1829 S. Canal
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220

December 6, 2002

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Chairwoman Stevens was unable to attend the Commission meeting. Director Bell announced Commissioner Westall would chair the meeting and announced that Ed Machin, president of the NM Wildlife Federation, passed away. Chairman Westall requested we all take a moment of silence in recognition.

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

Chairman Westall called the meeting to order and requested roll call:

Director Bell calls roll.

Commissioner Thomas Growney Present

Commissioner Tamara Hurt Present

Commissioner George Ortega Present

Commissioner Steve Padilla Present

Commissioner James Weaver Present

Chairman Westall Present

Director Bell stated there is a quorum.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 3. Introduction of Guests

Chairman Westall requested members of the audience introduced themselves.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 4. Approval of Minutes (October 18, 2002)

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the October 18, 2002 minutes as presented. Commissioner Growney seconded motion.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 5. Approval of Agenda

Director Bell requested the following:

1.) Adding a presentation of recognition by Commissioner Ortega following Agenda Item No. 5.

2.) Agenda Item No. 11 should be dropped from the agenda, based on the fact that Governor Elect Richardson and Governor Johnson reached an agreement that boards and commissions will not discuss any thing relative to purchases until the new administration takes office.

3.) Agenda Item No. 12 should be dropped from the agenda. Mr. Kaiser’s employer has taken ill and is unable to attend the meeting.

4.) The second half of Agenda Item No. 13 should be dropped from that agenda item. Based on a recent communication with the Office of the District Attorney stating that if the Commission issues refunds absent an appropriation, it would be unconstitutional. Since there is currently no such appropriation, the Department is requesting this item be postponed until statutory language or appropriations can be made.

5.) Agenda Item No. 21 relative to the dunes sagebrush lizard should be moved to the next order of business after Agenda Item No. 11. People in the audience are concerned about the prairie chicken and the dune’s lizard. Since there is some habitat overlap, it would be prudent to discuss both the items together.

6.) On Agenda Item No. 21 the discussion on the Marquez Wildlife Area should be removed. The discussion could lead to potential request for purchase and acquisitions.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the agenda as amended. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Commissioner Ortega, on behalf of the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission, presented certificates of appreciation for Verena Lopez, Don MacCarter, Mark Gruber and Marty Frentzel.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 6. Consent Agenda

Commissioner Padilla requested the consent agenda be voted on separately (Non-compliance and Failure To Pay).

MOTION: Commissioner Hunt moved to accept the Non-compliance Parental Responsibility list as presented by the Department. Motion seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. 4 voted in the affirmative, 1 in the negative (Commissioner Padilla). Motion carried.

MOTION: Commissioner Hunt moved to accept the Failure to Pay Penalty list as presented by the Department. Motion seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.


AGENDA ITEM NO. 7. Approval of Lease for Construction and Operation of a Volunteer Fire Station at Seven Springs Hatchery.

Presented by Tod Stevenson – The La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department has requested a lease of Department property at Seven Springs Hatchery for the construction and operation of a substation. In Dec. 2002, the Commission directed the Department to investigate this request and to develop an appropriate agreement. The Department negotiated a 99-year lease for $1.00. The lease specifies the location of the substation, maintenance requirements and conditions for renewal, ownership, termination and other standard lease terms. Parties that negotiated the lease included Sandoval County, the La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department, the AG’s Office, and the Department of Game and Fish.


MOTION: Commissioner Growney moved to accept the recommendation from the Department to a lease for the La Cueva Volunteer Fire Department. Seconded by Commissioner Padilla.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Ortega asked where the building would be placed and would it impair future development? Stevenson stated the Department had looked into that and one of the requirements is that the Department approves all plans prior to construction. The Department believes the facility will not have negative impacts on future development by the Department.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 8. Outfitter Revocation

Presented by Brian Gleadle – The Department compiled facts and information on New Mexico registered outfitter Carlos De La O (registration #01828). Because of his actions, the Department wants the Commission’s approval to send a Notice of Contemplated Commission Action for revocation of his outfitter’s registration. The request was based on documented actions of misconduct as defined by Subsection D (4) of NMAC. They are as follows: 1.) Failure to provide refunds to clients on five different occasions when requested and stipulated by contract. 2.) Failure to provide a landowner elk authorization to the Zia Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America pursuant to a contract valued at $5,000. Pursuant to Commission action taken on June 21, 2002, the Department of Game and Fish provided the Notice of Contemplated Commission Action (NCCA) to Outfitter Carlos De La O for possible suspension/revocation of Mr. De La O’s outfitter registration. Mr. De La O was given an opportunity to have a hearing as required by 19.31.2 NMAC, but to date, has failed to respond to the notice. An NCCA was hand delivered to Mr. De La O on September 12, 2002 by Department Officer Robert Griego. To date, Mr. De La O has not requested a hearing. The Department is recommending that the Commission assess 20 points for misconduct pursuant to 19.31.2.E.4 NMAC towards Mr. De La O’s outfitter and guide registration and recommending revocation of his registration for a period of three (3) years.. This is because of his failure to provide refunds to clients on five different occasions when requested and stipulated by contract and failure to provide a landowner elk authorization to the Zia Chapter of the Paralyzed Veterans of America pursuant to contract.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla asked if the forest service had taken any action toward Mr. De La O on his forest permit? Gleadle stated no. His actions may not affect his forest service outfitter permit. If he does become revoked today, it may affect his forest service permit but he would still be able to outfit on private property. Commissioner Weaver asked if there was a particular reason in the statute that states that personal hunting and fishing privileges are not affected by this revocation? Gleadle stated the rules specifically separate the outfitter registration from the rest of the revocation process and that is why the additional step is required. It does not stipulate that his hunting and fishing would be revoked. That issue is up to the Commission to decide. Director Bell went on to say that under the rules adopted by the State Game Commission, certain point criteria are established when you violate the rules that go against one’s hunting and fishing privileges and a different set of criteria for outfitter misconduct. They do not rise to the level of revoking an individuals license privileges, only their business license.

MOTION: Commissioner Ortega moved to accept the Department’s recommendation. Seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 9. 19.31.8 NMSC, The Big Game Rule

Presented by Luis Rios - Ft. Bliss military lands in Doña Ana County, NM have a small population of oryx that have not been available for hunting. DGF personnel have met with Ft. Bliss personnel about the issue of meeting the goals of the Oryx Management Plan, to eliminate oryx outside the boundaries of WSMR. Ft. Bliss has agreed to hunt a portion of the property (Doña Ana Training Area) with public hunters as a population reduction tool from the Oryx-5-510 list of hunters. The proposal is to have a single 3-day hunt each with 20 hunters on most of the property. Additional hunts may be scheduled as necessary. Furthermore, the Department proposed that Ft. Bliss have a military-personnel only hunt, in another area known as " Doña Ana Live Fire Area" which is known to have unexploded ordnance on the ground. Ft. Bliss would be responsible for the safety training of their own personnel. These hunts would be coordinated with DGF and subject to call up similar to the ORX-5-510. The list would be limited to 30 applicants. Ft. Bliss personnel would be able to apply for the military-only hunt at resident license fees as per 17-3-4 NMSA 1978 Annotated, Paragraph A. (1) Residence. A "resident" entitled to purchase resident hunting and fishing licenses is any person not otherwise entitled to claim residence, who is a member of the armed forces of the United States and officially stationed at a military reservation located partially in this state and partially in an adjacent state but only for a special license valid only for hunting and fishing in this state on those reservations.


R.L. Posey – Was not in agreement with military-only hunts.

John Boretsky, NM Council of Outfitters and Guides –In Units 32, 36 and 37 the Department allows deer rifle hunters the opportunity to legally purchase and pursue Barbary sheep. Boretsky asked the Commission to consider extending that same opportunity to bow and muzzle-loader hunters. He also requested that the Commission consider extending shooting hours to half an hour after sundown.

Telle Cavendar – Requested that the Commission look at a preference system for unsuccessful draw applicants for oryx, antelope and deer

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla asked in reference to a military license, if someone from another state was stationed in New Mexico, if they would receive a resident license fee. Rios stated that was correct. Pursuant to statute, military personnel assigned to military reservations within New Mexico may claim resident privileges. Commissioner Hurt commented that letting nonmilitary personnel apply for some of the hunts is viewed as similar to a landowner permit. The bases allowing draw permits for anyone is an exchange to let military personnel hunt in places they would not normally allow nonmilitary hunters anyway.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt motioned to approve the recommended changes to adding hunt code Oryx 5-511 for up to 30 permits to Fort Bliss military only. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

Chairman Westall asked if the Commission had any comments in reference to John Boretsky’s request.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Padilla asked since the Big Game Rule was open, if anything could be discussed up or just what was listed on the agenda? Director Bell stated this issue had been discussed a number of times. The Department is cautious about opening the rules because they need to be properly and legally noticed. The rule 19.31.8 was open in a very broad sense. The public notification stated that the discussion before the Commission today would be relative only to oryx hunting on Ft. Bliss and a weapons change on McGregor Range. Director Bell encouraged the Commission to make certain there be adequate public comment on any changes outside of the above-mentioned items. He also cautioned that when the rule closed in October, the Department went to press with its proclamation. Any changes made beyond what was proposed today would cause delays in printing the proclamation and put the Department further behind schedule. The magnitude of those changes will effect the magnitude of the delay. Commissioner Padilla stated he was leading up to a request on Unit 4 by Frank Simms. Chairwoman Stevens sent a letter to Mr. Simms stating that the Big Game Rule was closed. Commissioner Padilla wanted to know if a change of 3 or 4 days of the opening day would be appropriate. Director Bell felt it would be proper if that change were to be made since the rule is open. But again encouraged as much public comment as possible so that the record is clear that the public informed and adequate comment was allowed. Commissioner Padilla stated a few years ago the Commission did away with preference points. There were so many hunters out there that would have preference points that every single license application would have to be accepted on the basis of preference points.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Weaver said that since the proclamation has already gone to press, was there was a way to prioritize these issues for the next Commission to deal with? All the points are well taken, especially the preference issue. It seems these issues can be set aside to avoid problems with the proclamation at this time and these issues addressed at a future opening of the rule.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to have this issue placed on a future agenda as a priority so there can be open public discussion and avoid controversy as well as a problem with printing the proclamation.

Director Bell asked Commissioner Weaver if the priority items included the bow hunting of Barbary sheep as well as the preference point issue. Commissioner Weaver said that was correct. Director Bell stated the other issue of moving the season dates back to September 30 for the private-land hunting in Unit 4 brought up by Commissioner Padilla, could be dealt with today under the Open Rule or it could be postponed until the interim regulation for the fall of 2004. There will be other discussions relative to deer draw permits in Unit 31 that would best be dealt with as an interim rule change for 2004. Commissioner Ortega was in agreement that they all be added on to the next agenda and dealt with at that time.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 9. 19.31.8 NMSC, The Big Game Rule

Luis Rios – The Southeast Area Office has received a request from the Commanding Officer, COL. Wallace Hobson of Ft. Bliss, to change the weapon type for the 2003-2005 military only antelope hunts scheduled to take place on the McGregor Range portion of Ft. Bliss from muzzle-loader to modern rifle. The Department is recommending approving this change to This hunt is limited to 10 permits for military-only personal. This change will have no significant impact on the antelope population. The antelope hunt in Antelope Management Unit (AMU) 29, including the McGregor Range portion of Ft. Bliss, was designated as a muzzle-loader only hunt in the fall of 1979. This hunt was so designated due to low antelope numbers and concerns from Department biologists that this herd could not sustain high hunter success rates normally associated with rifle hunts. Restricting AMU 29 to muzzleloader-only hunting provided increased hunter opportunity without causing any overall negative impact to the herd. The Department normally assigns both public and military-only antelope hunters to the McGregor Range portion of Ft. Bliss. The military-only hunters are assigned to a specific hunt area on McGregor Range that is separate from the hunt area assigned to the public hunters. According to NMAC, a maximum of 30 antelope hunters (10 public, 10 youth-only, and 10 military-only) could be assigned to McGregor Range for the fall of 2003. Three years ago, the last time that McGregor Range was open for hunting, a total of 10 hunters were assigned to McGregor Range (5 public, and 5 military only). Changing the weapon type for the military-only antelope hunt from muzzle-loader to rifle would increase hunter harvest and could result in fewer permits being issued for this hunt. Given the fact that the military-only antelope hunters would be assigned to a separate hunt area and the fact that there would be a maximum of 10 hunters, the Department recommends amending NMAC The public hunters assigned to McGregor Range would be restricted to muzzle-loader only, consistent with the rest of the hunters assigned to ranches throughout GMU 29.



MOTION: Commissioner Padilla moved to accept the Department’s recommendation. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Director Bell stated the presenter for the next agenda Stephanie Harmon had not yet arrived and requested the Commission proceed to the next agenda item.

The Commission agreed.


Revision of the Sand Dune Lizard Management Plan Portion of Agenda Item No. 21

Presented by Tod Stevenson – A Management Plan Update on the sand dune lizard was presented to the Commission. The species is currently listed on the state list and also on the candidate list as a species to be listed as a federal threatened species. The grant narrative’s objective amends the management plan for sand dune lizard and provides comprehensive summaries of all pertinent information on the sand dune lizard. It is used to recommend specific management and conservation objectives for the species. The recommendation in the amended plan should be adequate to conserve the sand dune lizard in its native habitat in New Mexico. The following management components were reviewed: Background and biology; state threatened and federal candidate issue; recommendations for conservation, surveys and monitoring along with shrub control concerns and recommendations on oil and gas activities. Data and recommendations from previous studies of sand dune lizard and its habitat in New Mexico have been reexamined and are believed to be sufficient to develop interim conservation and management strategies for this species. However, included in this addendum are additional recommendations for research and agency-specific management recommendations that will provide additional data to help in the recovery of the sand dune lizard. The plan’s section on future research will provide approaches to fill information gaps in the areas of applied ecology related to sand dune lizard conservation. These areas may include the long-term relationship between sand dune lizard and various grazing practices, effective means and times for monitoring sand dune lizard populations in relation to different land management practices. Another objective is to amend the plan to incorporate data from analyses described above into a one that will contain: 1) A statement of the goals of management and conservation of the sand dune lizard, 2) Methods to accomplish these goals, 3) Metrics that can be used to measure success or failure or achieving these goals, 4) A realistic time frame for implementing and evaluating the plan, and 5) Specific responsibilities and actions for wildlife management agencies involved with the sand dune lizard and its habitat. Stevens stated that an addendum to the Sand Dune Lizard Management Plan that will provide for the conservation and management of the sand dune lizard in southeastern New Mexico was completed and enclosed with the report.


R.L. Posey – Asked what area in SE New Mexico the Department is speaking of. Stevenson gave the area boundary description to Mr. Posey.

Ray Brooks – He was not in agreement with proposal and requested the Commission revisit Endangered Species Act.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Ortega asked if the plan would include co-op agreements if needed with some of the people dealing with oil, gas and grazing leases, and so forth? Stevenson stated it might. The Wildlife Conservation Act looks at those partnerships and agreements between private landowners and other entities that can help provide for the management of this species and still protect the activities that occur on their properties. Commissioner Ortega would like to see that issue as part of the research or action being taken in dealing with the biology of this situation. Stevenson stated the document would be amended as requested. Chairman Westall would like the Department to look into delisting this species. He feels you cannot have any control of improving the habitat or anything else without doing away with oil and gas industry, ranching, etc.

Director Bell stated the Department is currently reviewing the Bureau of Land Management plans to assure that recommendations are consistent with the recommendations the Department had intended to provide adequate protection for lizard habitat. In addition, the key to the whole issue is developing a State Recovery Plan. A State Recovery Plan deals extensively with the need to involve the public, the need to take into account economic benefits, mitigate some of the benefits. Absent the plan it is not known what recovery looks like. It is imperative the plan be developed at the local level by the people most impacted by the decisions. Once the Recovery Plan is written, and then you begin to meet the statutory requirements for delisting. Delisting requires that the Director initiate a process based on the recovery plan. Hopefully the evidence would indicate moving in the direction of delisting. Delisting can also be based on substantial public interest. Once the studies are completed and the plan developed, then the stage is properly set for the Department to truly move into what the Federal Act is geared at, which is recovering wildlife species. By keeping this in state control, through the use of state conservation agreements, it keeps it from becoming a federally listed species.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 10. Status of and Recovery Efforts for the Lesser Prairie-chicken.

Director Bell introduced Stephanie Harmon and Dawn Davis.

Ms. Harmon is a biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Ms. Harmon has a BS from Oklahoma State University in Wildlife and Fisheries Ecology and a minor in Range Management, an MS Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Ecology and Conservation Genetics from Oklahoma State University. She has been actively involved in the Wildlife Society at the student, state and national levels since 1992. Her previous research and employment include: Projects on a diversity of game; non-game and listed species including the Eastern Wild Turkey; white-tailed deer; prairie chicken; interior least tern and wood stork. Her current duties include overseeing the range-wide status of the lesser prairie-chicken as well as working cooperatively with ranchers to restore habitat for prairie chickens and other declining grasslands species. Her professional affiliations include the Wildlife Society, The Society for Range Management, Oklahoma Native Plants Society, Prairie Grouse Technical Council and North American Grouse Partnership.

Ms. Davis is the states Lesser Prairie-Chicken Biologist with the NM Department of Game and Fish and is stationed in Clovis, NM. She has a MS Degree in Wildlife Science from Oregon State University, BS Degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Science, BS Degree in Biology from the University of Nevada, has worked as a Wildlife Biologist under Mike Greg with the USFWS where she assisted with designing, coordinating, conducting Greater Sage Grouse research projects and a variety of other activity. She was a Graduate Research Assistant under Dr. John Crawford, Oregon State University where she studied habitat use by greater sage-grouse in response to management activities on a national wildlife refuge. She was a research technician under Dr. Kevin Brown at NY Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Cornel University. There she studied the breeding biology of gulls at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. She served as a biological technician under Jim Wheeland, USFS, Ely Ranger District in Ely, Nevada where she monitored elk and livestock forage use in areas of conflict. Ms. Davis also served as a field assistant to Dr. David Delahunti of the University of Nevada in Reno and as a Howard Hughes Undergraduate Research Scholar where she monitored movements of mountain quail by radio telemetry.

Ms. Harmon presented an overview of the life history of the lesser prairie-chicken and the factors that threaten it throughout its range. Ms. Davis presented an overview of its status in New Mexico and the Department's efforts at recovery. Lesser prairie-chicken populations experienced a dramatic decline in 1989 and remained at low numbers throughout the 1990s. Some publics recommended that LP-C be listed as threatened under both federal and state laws. LP-C currently are categorized as a candidate for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act. Instead of listing LP-C under the State Wildlife Conservation Act, the Department responded by dedicating a biologist and a technician to work full-time on LP-C. No other state has dedicated as much to the recovery of this species.

The presentations consisted of: Background, historic range, estimates of the historical abundance, hunter survey data, factors affecting the status of LPC including the conversion and fragmentation of habitat by cultivation, roads, structural development, and utility corridors, drought impacts on seasonal growth of vegetation, which are necessary to provide nesting and roosting cover, food, and escape from predators and status and range. Also reviewed were impacts ranging from land conversion and grazing to oil and gas and development.

Davis stated the NM Department of Game and Fish has developed a LP-C Management Plan. The goal of the plan is to obtain a better understanding of LP-C population trends, seek public involvement and work with private landowners and land management agencies to provide the habitat necessary to ensure long-term conservation of LP-C habitat. The Management Plan is a multi-phase project beginning with Phase I (the Long-range Plan), which established the management goal and objective. Phase II, the Action Plan, specified tasks to accomplish and Phase III, the Operational Plan, where tasks are scheduled for implementation. All 3 phases of the plan were presented and approved by the Commission in 2001. Ninety percent of LP-C habitat occurs on private land. Because private lands support, an important number of LP-C efforts to contact private landowners must continue so more private lands are available to survey. The Department is reaching out to landowners by providing them information on how they can participate in various land incentive programs that will maintain or improve LP-C habitats. Over the last 9 months, the Department has contacted over 20 landowners. There are at least four landowners with active EQIP contracts and four additional landowners have applied for funds. The Department signed up one private landowner to compete for the LIP and is working with the USFWS on a tentative agreement with a private landowner under the Private Lands Stewardship Program. Inspections of all commission-owned PCSs were completed. In 2002, the PCA technician repaired fences, gates and water units and placed boundary and entrance signs along the PCA’s to identify them as Department lands dedicated to LP-C. Later this month the Department will be meeting to discuss protocols to measure vegetative components on PCA’s and determine if habitat manipulations are necessary. The Department is involved with the newly formed South Eastern NM Conservation group that addresses management and conservation of species in the dune-shinnery oak community. In 2002, the Department held New Mexico’s first “High Plains Prairie-Chicken Festival”. The festival brought together people representing interest groups including private landowners, state and federal agencies, bird watchers and environmental organizations. Planning for next year’s festival is already underway. Future activities by the Department include a booth at the Ag Expo this February in Portales and developing a brochure directed at landowners to describe incentive programs available and land management practices that benefit lesser prairie-chickens. The Department is developing a poll to measure public interest and satisfaction with LP-C in New Mexico. The poll will be conducted in 2003 and again in 2006. Davis stated because the current abundance and distribution of the LP-C is not fully understood, the Department must continue to identify research needs where knowledge of LP-C is lacking. In addition, areas of sparse and scattered LP-C populations must be identified. Although LP-C populations appear to have remained stable during 1998-2002 in the core area, LP-C have decreased in outlying areas. Finally, the Operational Plan is being revised for fiscal years 2003-2006 to better reflect the Department’s priorities and personnel resources and will be presented to the Commission at the next scheduled meeting.

Director Bell introduced Rob Manes from the Wildlife Management Institute. Director Bell stated the Wildlife Management Institute (WMI) has contributed much time and effort to bringing people together to understand this issue and working cooperatively. Manes stated the Institute is a 91-year old organization with its history and pride based on sound science in wildlife management. Its track record shows they are an organization based on wise use of resources, including wildlife. The Institute believes resources should be used to benefit the quality of life for people. WMI is a private organization and has been involved in lesser prairie-chicken issues before the petition to list them and have been involved in some of the earlier research that has fed into decision making. The institute supports the science-based decisions for making the LP-C management plan come to fruition. The Wildlife Management Institute does not want to see the LP-C on the federal threatened species list. It is not believe it to be necessary and not beneficial to the species nor to grazers and certainly not to oil and gas interests. The institute feels a lot of people loose if that happens. The USF&WS has done an exceptionally good job of evaluating the available data, of being reasonable of the application of the data, being flexible with the interests and recognizing that oil and gas production and grazing is a legitimate interest in this part of the world. The institute has questioned the service’s evaluation of that data. The USF&WS has a legal obligation under the Endangered Species Act to do exactly what they are doing but one of the institute’s biggest concerns is that there are a lot of organizations out there whose interests are perhaps not as science based as the institute would like to see. There are organizations out there that make their living on litigation and are also very adept at using the Endangered Species Act and other pieces of law that are on the books to force the service into doing thing that they might not otherwise do. It is not believed to be an advantageous situation for the LP-C. They do not want to see litigation drive this issue. There are opportunities for cooperation and communication between all the stakeholders in this process, including grazers, oil and gas interests and they applaud the State of New Mexico’s progress in developing a recovery plan and believe it is central to the type of cooperation and communication that has to go forward in order to avoid putting the LP-C on the Endangered Species List. Manes stated that if the species is listed, every single stakeholder in the process (private landowners, oil and gas producers, grazers, the state) looses flexibility and opportunities to manage chickens to their benefit. The recovery can be an outcome of a stakeholder process and the institute has been committed to and remains willing to support the process.


Jim Bailey – Does not interpret the NM situation as positively as was presented. On roadside counts, he feels it is not appropriate to look at total number of LEKS across all routes and say the trend has been stable. Most of recovery effort has gone on in the more populated portion of the state instead of the least populated. A well-designed study is needed of the genetics of the LP-C in the state.

R.L. Posey – Does not disagreeing with the data, but guarantees data can be taken and shown to obtain desired results. He gets concerned when he sees something that says that grazing and oil and gas production are main basis for the decrease of the chicken.

Bill Briney – Urged Commission to strongly consider what was heard this morning on the LP-C.

Ray Miller, Oil and Gas Co. employee – Was disturbed by presentation given by Ms. Harmon. He felt the presentation could have been slightly broader. There are probably less than 3% of the birds in this state that are actually involved on the lands described exclusively and the effects looked at. If the Game and Fish was to actually survey all of its lands for LP-C, Ms. Harmon might find that lands controlled by the Department actually have more LP-C than all the lands described. Miller felt there is a lot of work that can be done, but if the approach taken by certain folks is to target certain areas and look at certain effects long term you will not have the desired success.

Louis Derrik – He disagrees with predator control. He feels it is one of the proactive things that can be done to help the LP-C. Until rainfall occurs, the LP-C will have problems.

Ed Robertson, Field Manager for the Roswell Field Office, BLM – Both species, prairie chicken and sand dune lizard live in the same area. He would like to let everyone know that the BLM would like to support and work with the Game and Fish Commission, the staff, the State Land Office, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and stakeholders in the service to conservation. Together the issues can be explored as to the research breaks, what kind of management works, where areas are that efforts would be best served to focus on, etc.

Director Bell hoped everyone from today’s presentation went away with a few basic things. One is to keep the LP-C from being listed. The USF&WS and the Department are spending enormous amounts of time and effort because they believe that is what is going to serve LP-C the best. Through non-listing, a far better cooperative relationship will be fostered and the ability to have a far better process and work with individuals at the local level. Director Bell stated he was committed to assuring that this happens. It is notable that the Department brought forward a plan and did not just let that plan sit on the shelf but made progress in completing 74 out 110 items listed that would not have been done if it hadn’t been for the strength of this Commission’s support by providing the budget and assuring that the work got carried out at the ground level. Director Bell felt everyone should leave today having not heard a single presentation that says anything other than “we want to be working with you at the ground level”. What is done here today will make a tremendous difference to the status of species throughout the nation.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 11. Share with Wildlife Project FY2004-2005 Request List.


AGENDA ITEM NO. 12. Exchange of Oryx for Desert Bighorn Sheep.


AGENDA ITEM NO. 13. 19.31.3 NMAC, The Hunting and Fishing License Application Rule. Presented by Brian Gleadle

1) Deer entry restrictions- The Department presented considerations of deer draw permit restrictions. Some considerations needed to be given to deer draw permit restrictions. For example, should the Commission wish to keep the entire license and application fee as a requirement? If so, successful applicants would get a deer draw license in the mail and no permit would be needed. The Department would recommend no additional restrictions. However, should the Commission decide to only require the $6 application fee for deer draw applicants, then the Department is recommending: RESTRICTIONS: Deer Entry Hunts: [Any hunter successfully drawing a permit in any Deer Entry hunt must have his/her deer license validated for that hunt.] It shall be unlawful for any Deer Entry hunter to hunt during any other deer season. [All deer entry hunters must have in their possession their deer entry permit and deer license while hunting.]

2) Special deer draw date - The Department presented alternative dates and procedures for deer draw hunts. At the Sept. 2002 Commission Meeting, the Commission suggested that the Department consider requiring the deer license fee along with the application fee when an applicant applies for this types of special hunt. The Department presented information at the October Commission meeting (which was adopted by the Commission) moving the deer draw date to February and requiring the total license and application fees. The public and the Commission voiced some concerns over this new date and the inclusion of total license fees. The Department presented for discussion and consideration alternatives for deer draw dates and fee submission. A.) Change back to April deadline, but still require the total application and license fee which would be $32.00 for residents; $196.00 for standard non-resident; $316.00 for non- resident Quality/HD hunt. This would support traditional deadline and increase the application cost to discourage non-hunters from applying. b.) Change back to April deadline with the submission of only the $6 application fee and successful hunters must buy licenses at any vendor. This would not address concerns that many non- hunters can apply and never use their deer draw permit.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Hurt understood the rule could be changed if they go back to the $6.00 application fee. She also understood there would be some additional cost to the Department if the Commission went with the new option in processing refunds. Director Bell stated there are costs associated with the processing of refunds. It is not a cost that the Department cannot sustain but there are costs to process applications, to cut checks, mail back to unsuccessful applicants, etc., but they are something the Department can bear if the Commission chooses to stay with the existing rule. Commissioner Padilla stated the Commission voted on this at the last meeting and there was a lot of discussion as to the reasons why, but it was primarily to serve sportsmen. The sportsmen were complaining about the inability to draw because of outfitters submitting numerous applications for their clients. This makes it very difficult for the local sportsmen to draw. At the request of sportsmen, the Commission changed the rule and allowed sending the application fee only for all draw hunts, it did not work. What happened is that individuals began applying for many of their family members in the hopes that a family member would draw. This caused a lot of problems. About eight years ago the sportsmen became very concerned because the outfitters were flooding the market with applications in the trophy elk areas making it very difficult for the sportsmen to draw. Eighty percent of the licenses were going to non-residents. They felt the Department and Commission did not listen to them so they organized and went before the Legislature who passed a law that limits non-residents in those quality areas. Commissioner Padilla did not want the Legislature doing this in the future and for that reason made the following motion.

MOTION: Commissioner Padilla moved that the Department stick with the application fee plus the license fee and change the application date to April. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.


John Boretsky, NM Council of Outfitters and Guides – Commissioner Padilla mentioned there was an experiment in which you only had to apply with the application fee. Boretsky recalled that was the year the Department had the fire sales for the number of applications drawn that were not claimed. Anti-hunting groups flooded the $6.00 application with the idea that if they were drawn, they would not claim the license and that animal would not be hunted. Boretsky recommended the full application fee be maintained. Also, as far as the number of non-resident hunters he felt that that had already been determined by the legislature. As far as the application dates, he encouraged the Commission (on both deer and oryx) to set it for the 26th of April. The reason being that this is an important part of their industry’s marketing effort that begins about the 3rd week of January and goes through the middle of March.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Hurt mentioned that by requiring the full fee, an economic downfall to the residents occurs because they cannot get a combination general hunting and fishing license discount. Commissioner Padilla stated it looked like this next legislative session there is going to be a bill introduced to increase license fee and he feels the Department needs the money. Chairman Westall asked Commissioner Padilla if he wished to change his motion to include April 26. Commissioner Padilla stated that was indicated in the motion: Full fee and the application date of April 26.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. Four voted in the affirmative, one in opposition (Commissioner Hurt). Motion carried.

License refund criteria – Removed from agenda.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 14. 19.35.7 NMAC, The Importation of Live Non-domestic Animals, Birds and Fish Rule.

Presented by Kerry Mower – TB testing requires holding bighorn sheep for 72 hours before results can be ascertained. If a positive result occurs, a federal veterinarian would need to perform an additional test to discern if the positive result is for bovine TB, a concern, or avian TB, which is not of concern. This test requires an additional three days for a potential total of 6 days in captivity. Wild sheep are very susceptible to capture and handling stress and there is serious concern that holding the animals this long would result in a very high mortality rate. There has been no documented evidence of wild sheep carrying TB and many states waive this test because of the high risk of mortality from holding the animals so long. Domestic sheep are not required to be tested for TB because of the low risk associated with this disease. Both the Arizona and New Mexico Departments of Game and Fish approved a proposal to transplant Arizona desert bighorn sheep to New Mexico in exchange for transplanting Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep to Arizona. In order to reduce the likelihood of mortality during this transplant, the New Mexico State Game Commission waived the TB testing requirement on desert bighorn coming from Arizona to New Mexico. The Department requested an exemption of the tuberculosis (TB) testing requirement in19.35.7 NMAC, the Importation of Live Non-Domestic Animals, Birds and Fish Rule, for any wild sheep (Obis sp.).


Debbie Hughes, Class “A” Park Owner – Asked if it also exempted Barbary sheep? Mower stated the way it is worded is as an exemption just for wild free ranging bighorn sheep. Hughes asked that if the scientific data suggests that tuberculosis does occur in wild free ranging sheep, which would include Barbary sheep, why is the public and private industry going to have these other extensive rules and the Department of Game and Fish is exempt? If it applies to the Game and Fish Department it should also apply to private industry. Director Bell referred to Mower as to whether the low risk of TB is true for all wild sheep or only bighorn sheep. If it were, then there would be no concern to exempt all wild sheep. Mower stated that in conversation with Dr. England, he was told that the Livestock Board does not have any concern with any of the sheep species, any of the Obis genes, with one exception and that is those sheep that are specifically dairy animals. Milk producing sheep are the only ones that the Livestock Board requires TB testing. Director Bell stated if it was the desire of the Commission to change that from bighorn sheep (Obis Canadensis) to all wild sheep, that would be an appropriate change.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to accept the recommendation of the Department along with the amendment to exempt all wild sheep species. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.


VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 15. 19.35.9 NMAC, The Class A Park and Lakes Rule.

Presented by Kerry Mower - The Class “A” Parks Regulation was modified to prevent the introduction of chronic wasting disease into Class “A” Parks and to plan steps to be followed in event of animal health emergencies. This amendment established authority and protocols in the event that Chronic Wasting Disease or other disease became confirmed in a Class “A” Park over which the Department has license authority. An committee was appointed to define and to represent interests of the Department, agricultural animal health experts and Class “A” Park owners. An opinion from the Office of the Attorney General advised the Department that to appoint a working oversight committee was not within the Department's authority. This proposed modification would remove language establishing a chronic wasting oversight committee and all reference to such committee. This modification will place the decision-making role and management action in animal health emergencies in the hands of the Director and the Game Commission. The Department recommended adopting the changes that drop reference to an Oversight Committee to ensure the Department acts within its legal mandates. The Department is aware that this change would result in increased authority and responsibility.


Debbie Hughes – Supports the Department’s recommendation on the above language change.

Asked if on the agenda item that was removed in reference to importation or trading oryx for bighorn sheep was because the Department has the borders closed to importation and inquired if that closure also applied to the Department. Hughes is concerned with CWD being brought into the state. Director Bell replied that the State’s borders are currently closed to the import of any live cervids. Since that has been imposed, the Department has not brought any live cervid into the state. Bighorn sheep are not in the cervid family are not currently covered. There is absolutely no evidence that bighorn sheep carry CWD and that is why the borders have not been closed to them. The agenda item was not removed as a result of that but because the individual working on the exchange with the Department became ill and is unable to attend the meeting. Director Bell stated Ms. Hughes concern was well addressed and he will assure that the Department is held to the same standards as the private producers.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Weaver noted on the first line “emergency” is lined out and shouldn’t be. Mower stated that was correct and should read “Animal Health Emergency” in that instance. Commissioner Weaver also asked referring to the committee, if that was the same thing that was into with Mr. Hall. The statutory provisions that disallow forming standard committees? Director Bell stated that was correct and is due to statutory constraints. Commissioner Weaver asked what the chances were of having that changed. He felt there was a need for some standing committees to take pressure off the Commission as well as some of the biologist involved. The bottom line is, if the Department wants to involve the public so in some ways, we are arguing about semantics. If the Department wants to form a work group or public input process that can be done. As to the question of taking the burden off of the Department and the Commission, ultimately the Commission has to be the decision maker, the oversight body. At best the advisory committee’s could come forward with recommendations. It would not lessen the burden but would give the insurances that the Department has worked with the public and that they were unified in bringing a recommendation before the Commission.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the changes as presented with the word “Emergency” being there. Seconded by Commissioner Padilla.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 16. Request to transfer $325,000 from the Bond Interest & Retirement Fund to replace a pipeline at Red River Hatchery.

Presented by Barbara Morin - The Department requested the replacement of the water supply pipeline at the Red River Hatchery in Questa. The State Game Commission approved a Department recommendation to use $325,000 from the Game Protection Fund for this purpose at the Sept. 27, 2002 State Game Commission meeting in Las Vegas. Upon further analysis, the Department is recommending the use of Bond Interest and Retirement Fund (BIRF) money for this project. In order to transfer BIRF funds for this project, the Department must first receive approval from the State Game Commission. The cash balance in the BIRF is sufficient and will reduce the obligation to the Game Protection Fund. There are currently no bonds outstanding or other obligations requiring repayment from BIRF. An analysis of the Bond Interest and Retirement Fund cash balance was presented to the Commission. The Department recommended that the Commission approve this transfer of funds from the BIRF to the Game and Fish Capital Outlay Fund.

MOTION: Commissioner Ortega moved to approve the Department’s request. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.


VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 17. Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Education Center Update.

Presented by Roberta Salazar Henry and architectural design presented by Steve Hall, Project Architect, Mahlman and Miles

Commissioner Padilla asked Director Bell if the one million dollar expenditure was not in violation of the request of new Governor Elect and the LFC to not make any major purchases at this time? Director Bell responded that this project is currently underway and has been for some time and is not a new process but is merely to decide if the Commission wishes to continue the project. If the Department does not get the additional funding request moving forward then the whole thing needs to be placed on hold. It is an ongoing project and it was brought to the attention of the transition teams, it seems to be receiving very good support from them. There have been no concerns voiced that this is anything the Department should delay.

Roberta Henry stated Steve Hall and Christina Miles presented a rendition of the components of what would be in the building. These were not necessarily the exact drawing, but something for the Commission to look at and visualize

Tom Sansom, Project Leader – Gave a brief update on what the committee has been working on for the Educational Center. Sansom stated there is an ongoing process involving a group of people from the Department and members of the Commission. There has been a lot of programming meetings and different ideas that the Department would like to see in the project. What will be presented today would not be the final product but would give the Commission an idea of what the Committee has come up with thus far.

Steve Hall and Christina Miles – Presented the following items to the Commission: Results of meeting with building committee; document that recorded recommendations for the facility; overall square footage (15.000 sq. ft.); a breakdown of the rooms, etc. A slide presentation was given showing historical architecture and how it relates to the project. Hall spoke of the importance of the site selection (adjacent to the headquarters building and below west side of parking lot) because of desire to develop a wetland and pond to attract wildlife by taking advantage of gray and black water and runoff.

Commissioner Growney – Has worked with the Committee on the overall scope of the project and the early design phase. He felt there has been good participation and a lot of excellent ideas leading up to what was shown today. Overall, the process is progressing nicely and with a few changes, he felt this would be a nice addition for the Department and would be a showcase from an educational standpoint for our State.

Roberta Salazar Henry - The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish received approval from the State Game Commission to invest approximately $1 million in the design and construction of an education center to be located at the Department headquarters. The $1 million is a combination of Bond Interest and Retirement dollars and federal dollars apportioned to the Department through the Wildlife Conservation and Restoration Program (WCRP). The components of the design have been identified and a rendition is available for Commission approval. In addition, conservative estimates of per square foot costs have been calculated to be $150, and total square footage is estimated to be 15,000. Given these figures, the total estimated cost of the facility is now $2.25 million. The Department requested the Commission approve the new estimated cost with an additional $500,000 from the Bond Interest and Retirement fund, and $500,000 from the Game Protection fund. A portion of these dollars will be used as match for any additional federal funds awarded to this project and the center components as designed. The cash balance projections for the Bond Interest and Retirement Fund and Game Protection Fund can withstand the additional contribution. This facility will provide the Department and Commission with another avenue to address an increasing interest by the public in wildlife conservation and environmental issues and will help the Department reach Goal II, Administration Program Objective 10, as stated in the Commission adopted Strategic Plan.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION – Commissioner Hurt stated she understood there is $500,000 from the Game Protection Fund and $1.5 million from the Bond Interest Fund but wondered where the other $225,000 was coming from? Henry stated the Commission has authorized $1 million. The Department is asking for another $1 million and the $225,000 would come from matching grant funds. The million dollars is going to be state dollars that would be matched with futures, state wildlife grant money, additional sport fish money, and PR money. As much of this million dollars will be used to match other grants. The Department will also be searching for federal grants for exhibit money that will also be used as match to develop the exhibits. Henry stated she did not want to project the $1 million as a sure thing for grant money to come through if it didn’t. If the funding did not come through, the Department will scale back the project. Either design it in stages or get rid of some functions and design them at a later time but still attempt to stay within the $2.25 million with the hopes that the other million dollars would be obtained from federal grants. The Department is requesting the Commission authorize the project to be $2.25 million and $1 million additional money from the two funds. If the million dollars does not come through, the Department will not proceed with that additional money. Commissioner Ortega asked for an overview again of the funding combination and if CARA money was available? Henry stated that the Department currently has a committed grant of $822,000 in what was originally to be the CARA money that they called WCRP. This is currently committed with the feds for a little over $1 million with the match. Commissioner Ortega felt the Game and Fish Department has needed this type of building for a long time for the school kids to have a good educational center.

MOTION: Commissioner Ortega moved to approve the additional funding requested. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

Commissioner Growney asked Commissioner Ortega to make sure he included in his motion the authorization for the total project funding to go from $1 million to $2.25 million in addition to the additional funding of a million. Commissioner Ortega stated his motion would include that.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 18. State Wildlife Grant (SWG) Challenge Cost Share Program

Presented by Roberta Salazar Henry – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish received approval by the State Game Commission to develop a cost share program for the development of projects that meet criteria established by the Department through the State Wildlife Grant Program (SWG). A competitive grant program was established using up to $350,000 in SWG funds with a match rate of 50%-50% or 75%-25% as identified in the appropriation. Project proposals have been submitted through the state request for proposal process (RFP). These projects have been reviewed for eligibility and identified as those that address a need identified by the Department. No additional funds from cash balance will be used, as those entities awarded SWG funds will be providing the match (50% of costs). The projects address Goal II, Objective 1 and 2 in the Conservation Services Program, and Objective 2 in the Administration program, as stated in the Commission adopted Strategic Plan. The Department is seeking Commission approval of the list of projects in order to enter in contract negotiations and establish the supporting budget.



MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to let the committee make the selections up to $400,000. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 19. 19.30.9 NMAC, Wildlife Use Special Permit Fees Rule. Request to implement an administrative fee for the issuance of Second Turkey Tags

Director Bell clarified what the rule change the Department is asking for is an amendment to 19.30.9, not 19.35.4. The Department would like to reflect that change. Commission’s Council had been conferred with and because the notice went out as otherwise stated he believed that the action would still be proper even though there was an error on the numbers.

Presented by Pat Block - At the Oct. 18, 2002 State Game Commission meeting the Commission established the Big Game Rule for 2003-2005 stating that the bag limit for the spring turkey season is two bearded turkeys. The second turkey bag limit was adopted at the request of the New Mexico Wild Turkey Federation. The Commission directed the Department to prepare an amendment to facilitate charging an administrative fee to cover the costs associated with issuing a second turkey tag. NMSA 17-1-14, (13), 1978 allows for the collection of “reasonable fees” for licenses, permits and certificates not other wise provided for in statute. The $10.00 fee being requested will allow the Department to recoup costs associated with printing, issuing, and accounting for the second tags.



MOTION: Commissioner Padilla moved to adopt recommendation 19.30.9. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Director Bell provided clarification. The reason the Department has gone to 2nd tag fee is that for years the Department had allowed the killing of two turkeys in the spring and has now gone back to that. However, in doing so, it is illegal for anyone to purchase two turkey licenses per year. Because of this the Department removed turkey from the big game list because that statute states you couldn’t purchase more than one big game license per year, which allows the purchaser more than one license. Rather than requiring vendors to fill out two separate licenses, the Department is allowing each spring hunter to harvest two turkeys by purchasing a second tag. Commissioner Padilla added that the $10.00 fee was a request of the NM Wild Turkey Federation.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 20. Funding approval sought to remove sediment from McGaffey Reservoir

Presented by Dale Hall – The Department is seeking approval to spend up to $120,000 from Habitat Stamp Program funds to remove sediment from McGaffey Reservoir near Gallup. The 14-acre reservoir is currently retaining no surface water due to drought. The Department would like to take this opportunity to remove approximately 4 feet of sediment from the lakebed in an effort to improve future fishing. A professional contractor was hired to evaluate the proposed sediment removal project. If a contractor were hired to clean out the full 28,500 cubic yards the cost would be $162,426.57. Of course, competitive bids would be sought if a contractor were actually considered. However, USFS personnel may be able to rent the specialized equipment and use their construction crews to remove the mud. This would increase cost savings and decrease the timeframe in which to begin the work. Otherwise, the amount of sediment removed would be less due to the available funds. The USFS, Cibola National Forest, has made this work at McGaffey Lake a priority. They cannot complete some controlled burn projects and are willing to delay others to make money available for this request. At this time, none of the HS Program’s $100,000 Emergency Fund has been used. Emergency Funds have traditionally been held aside for either an emergency or as in this case, an unanticipated opportunity. The Department is seeking approval from the Commission to spend up to $120,000 to remove approximately 4 feet of sediment from about half the lakebed in an effort to improve future fishing. If approved, funding would be made available by delaying previously planned projects and using money from the program’s Emergency Fund. Barring significant rainfall, the US Forest Service or a contractor would begin work in 2003 before spring runoff.


Tulley Cabiner – He is in agreement with Department’s recommendation.

COMMISSION DISCUSSION: Commissioner Growney asked Hall what the anticipated beginning date for the project was. Hall stated February 1 is the target date. Commissioner Hurt wondered how long it would keep before the lake filled up with sediment again and if the Commission needed to look at including a sediment trap? Hall stated that there are two silt traps above the lake that are not functioning properly. The Department may come through with further Habitat Stamp Projects in the future to repair the silt traps.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to accept the proposal to spend $162,500 towards the cleanup. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 21. Commission/Department Discussion

Consideration of unlawful hunting criteria for licensed hunters if trespassing on private property

Presented by Director Bell – As the Commission may recall, a request was brought forth by NM Cattle Growers to change the current law stating that if a person is caught trespassing they do not loose their game animal if they should kill that animal while in the process of trespassing. What the Cattle Growers want was to get the rules changed so that anyone in violation of trespass would loose the game animal. The Department has been working with them on some language and it looks like they need an amendment of two different laws. One would amend the trespass law to make it a strict liability situation and put the onus with the sportsmen to know whether they were trespassing. If that were successful, then amend Chapter 17. Director Bell stated Brian Gleadle had a draft of the language presented to the Department late yesterday and that the Department would be glad to hear any discussion the Commission may have. The Department needing to know what the Commission’s thoughts are before going into the legislative session. At this time, it is not being proposed as part of the Department’s legislative package because final details of the language have not yet been worked out. Brian Gleadle felt the easiest way would be to make sure what the statute currently reads and then input what the suggested changes from the NM Cattle Growers were. Section 17-2-7 is one of the primary statutes they are looking to amend. This is the what law enforcement uses against violators who unlawfully take big game, birds and fish through Manner and Method regulations. Section “A” says, “except as permitted by regulations adopted by the State Game Commission or as otherwise allowed by law”. The changes suggested by the Cattle Growers is to add a new section (Section 3) which would be “to hunt, take, capture, kill, or attempt to take capture kill at any time or in any manner any game animal, game bird or game fish in the state on private property without written permission”. It goes on to state “any game killed while on private property without written permission will be confiscated and the hunter shall be charged with hunting without a license in addition to criminal trespass pursuant to 30-14-1”. Director Bell further stated it is a little odd, from his knowledge of statutory construction, to create one statute that demands that you site somebody for a different statute. It would be better to end the sentence with “will be confiscated”. Then whether or not the hunter is charged with criminal trespass would depend on whether he met the elements of the crime of criminal trespass. Director Bell did not feel that meeting the crimes of unlawfully taking game while on private property necessarily meant you met all the elements of criminal trespass. The Department is not yet prepared to accept this as a recommendation to the Commission. Director Bell stated John Boretsky is working with the group and the Cattle Growers to further refine this language. Commissioner Hurt said that it states, “they will be charged with hunting without a license”. She asked if that would be so if did they have a license? Gleadle stated that was correct. Under current rule and law, if an individual has a hunting license that is valid for an entire unit and if they were to go on to private property that license is still a valid license. What is being looked at is strict liability and private property and their intent is looking at whether property is posted or not posted. If you do not have written permission from the landowner, then being on their property hunting or taking would be unlawful. The direction that the animal will be seized, is a little redundant. Chapter 17-2-19 directs officers that they may seize animals unlawfully taken or possessed for any violation of Chapter 17. Commissioner Hurt feels this is needed and is in total agreement with the confiscation of the animal and supported that the wording be cleaned up. Gleadle pointed out that the rest of Chapter 17-2-7 would not change. Also, the NM Cattle Growers want to make changes to 17-4-6, about hunting and fishing on private property. Currently this is the current structure of that statute which they are recommending to completely change. He talked about the fact that if a landowner should desire to protect and propagate wildlife on their property, they may do so by posting their property in six conspicuous places and publishing that notice in any form of newspaper or so for three consecutive weeks. Once they have done this they effectively closed their property to hunting. They can still give permission; they can still hunt on their property. They are suggesting to completely reword 17-4-6. In Section “A” the owner, lessee or person lawfully in possession of real property in New Mexico, except property owned by the state or federal government, desiring to prevent trespass or entry into the real property shall post notice parallel to and exterior boundaries of the property to be posted at each roadway or other way of accessing conspicuous places and if the property is not fenced such notices shall be posted every five hundred feet. They also suggest a Paragraph “B” that notices posting shall prohibit any persons from trespassing or entering upon the property without the permission of the owner, lessee or person in lawful possession. Gleadle stated this was some of the wording submitted by the Cattle Growers for consideration late yesterday so the Department has not yet had ample time to review.

Share with Wildlife License Plate

Presented by Director Bell – The Department is getting some interest in whether or not it should go forward this year and propose a special license plate. The Department had not previously discussed this as part of the Commission’s legislative package. The Department would like to know what the Commission’s thoughts were on this issue. Legislation could be drafted to split the funding from the sale of the plate with half going to Share with Wildlife and half to the Conservation Education Center. Commissioner Padilla cautioned the Department if they go forward with the Share with Wildlife license plate, to be very careful with the design, because it will make passage a lot easier.

Peregrine Falcon Update

Presented by Director Bell – He is happy to announce that the Department has sent out the peer review letter. Four people have been asked to be on the review panel and if they agree, will be asked to accomplish five things. 1.) Look at the data and files to see if the Department can monitor peregrines in New Mexico; 2) To see if the data is sufficient to measure progress toward developing a healthy, self-sustaining peregrine population; 3) To assure that the is data is sufficiently complete and capable of incorporating and assessing that data as well as requiring and allowing input for anyone that may have additional data;(WHAT?) 4.) To use appropriate data management methods for data compilation, archival retrieval and confidentiality; and 5.) Does the data indicate that the species would warrant a delisting action under the Wildlife Conservation Act. These letters were sent to Jerry Craig, Colorado Division of Wildlife; Dr. James Betinar, Arkansas State University; Dr. James Enerson, Colorado College and Dr. James Greer of North Dakota State University asking them to serve on a peer review panel to review and assist in the management and potential delisting of that species. They have been asked to respond by Dec. 13, 2002 and indicate their willingness to serve. In addition, the Department has directed the attention of one of the recovery biologists in the development of a full recovery plan for the peregrine falcon. The contractor has also been instructed to rewrite his field notes and return them to the Department.

Hunt of a lifetime

Presented by Steve Henry – At the previous Commission meeting the Department discussed the possibility of coming up with some free hunting licenses for children with terminal illnesses. Henry presented the Commission with information on the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation. The Department has drafted proposed language amending Chapter 17. It reads “The Commission may reserve up to two free elk licenses per year to be issued to individuals under the age of 21 who have been determined by a physician to have life-threatening illnesses. They are qualified for a license through the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation or other non-profit, wish-granting organization approved by the Commission. The term” other organization” was used because Hunt of a Lifetime has only been in existence for three years. There is a Make a Wish Foundation in existence, but it does not grant hunts or any kind of an experience that uses a firearm or implement that can cause injury to an animal. Director Bell stated the Department has prepared language for Governor Elect to be carried as part of the legislative package. Henry stated that Mr. Bill Ferranti and The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation came to him and wrote a letter saying that the Double H Ranch is looking at participating in this event and agreed to take in a child if this program is approved.

MOTION: Commissioner Hurt moved to direct the Department to present this to the Governor when appropriate. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Director Bell announced that Lisa Kirkpatrick is the new chief of the Department’s Conservation Services Division filling the vacancy left by Tod Stevenson on his promotion.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 22. General Public Comments:

Larry Foster, Cattle Growers Sub-Committee – He has not seen the language submitted by Cattle Growers on the issue of trespass. He does not feel legislation is needed for language changes, he feels it can be done by regulation.

Tulley Calivandar – Does not agree that the sole responsibility rests with the hunter to know if they are on private property. The landowner has the responsibility to put up signs around his land.

R.L. Posey – Disagreed with Commissioner Hurt that hunting on federal land is similar to hunting on private land. One individual or corporation owns Private land and the people own the other land. He would like to see some action as to where it is not military-only hunt. Would like the Commission and Department to consider looking at the NM Conservation Act and possibly changing some of it. Too often only one species is looked at instead of the whole ecology. On trespassing, responsibility should also be on hunter.

Mike Casabone, Rancher, Hope area – Feels lion predation is an increasing problem. Feels it needs to be addressed more.

Richard Wess, Carlsbad Sportsmen’s Club –The deer population in Units 30, 31 and 34 has been reduced drastically due to drought, predators and heavy hunting. He would like to see these areas become deer draw areas. He also requested an update on the Santa Rosa Fish Hatchery. He would like fish studies to be completed at Brantley Lake. On the Conservation Education Building, he requested the Department keep in mind that hunter education is taught in borrowed buildings all over the state, with borrowed time, borrowed building and voluntarily help and the Department just appropriated $2.25 million for a building 250 miles away from them.

John Sherman, Sportsmen for Quality Game Management in Carlsbad – He has Units 31 and 33 concerns. We are a group that would like to sit down with the Department, Land Management Agencies and sportsmen as a working group and come up with some ways of combating the problems of the declining deer herds. Would like the above units to be placed in a quality management category. Requested being placed on the next agenda to discuss this.

Tom Runyon, Rancher Mayhill Area – Requested reduction of numbers of mountain lions. They have impacted his neighbors and the sheep industry along with mule deer numbers.

Commissioner Padilla commented there has been a lot of comments today reference mountain lions. Today, in Santa Fe, there is a hearing going on before a judge by an environmental group suing the Department for killing too many mountain lions.

Robert Stockwell – Is in agreement with Mr. Wess and would like to see Unit 30 go to a deer draw area.

Warm Water Hatchery Update

Presented by Director Bell as requested by Mr. Wess – The Department has been moving forward with the Warm Water Hatchery. Currently $1 million of Game Protection Fund money is being expended. The first $500,000 of that went to acquiring water right in the Santa Rosa area and 40 acres of property adjoining the current fish hatchery so that the Department can save some time and money. The other $500,000 is currently being used to design of the hatchery itself. It is anticipated that hatchery will cost $5 million. As soon as the design is ready, the Department will come forward with an additional funding request. To assure that happens, the Department has set aside $5 million in Game Protection Funds. The Department has been cautious not to take it out to use it on the Conservation Education Center. The hatchery is on track and moving forward.

Commissioner Westall announced that the scheduled Commission Meeting for January 16, 2002 has been cancelled due to the Legislative Session.

AGENDA ITEM NO. 23. Closed Executive Session

Chairman Westall entertains a motion to enter into Closed Executive Session pursuant to NMSA 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 Padilla moved to enter into Closed Executive Session pursuant to statute. Seconded by Commissioner Growney.

Director Bell calls roll:

Commissioner Growney Yes

Commissioner Hurt Yes

Commissioner Ortega Yes

Commissioner Padilla Yes

Commissioner Weaver Yes

Motion carried.

Director Bell states the Commission is now in Closed Executive Session.

Chairman Westall entertains a motion to enter back into public 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 Padilla moved to enter back into open session. Seconded by Commissioner Weaver.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

MOTION: Commissioner Growney moved that a letter be sent to Shane W. Sass, who is a registered guide in New Mexico, pursuant to the Department’s recommendation to issue a notice of contemplated action against him. Seconded by Commissioner Hurt.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

MOTION: Commissioner Weaver moved to adjourn. Seconded by Commissioner Ortega.

VOTE: Voice call vote taken. All present voted in the affirmative. Motion carried.

Meeting adjourned at 3:21 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:


Larry G. Bell, Secretary to the Commission

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish


Karen Stevens, Chairwoman

New Mexico State Game Commission