New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
dan.williams@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SEPT. 4, 2007:

DEPARTMENT PUBLISHES OIL & GAS DEVELOPMENT GUIDELINES WITH WILDLIFE IN MIND

SANTA FE -- In its ongoing efforts to enhance and protect New Mexico's wildlife and habitat, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has published a set of guidelines for oil and gas developers, regulatory agencies and concerned citizens to promote attention to conservation while continuing to develop energy resources.

"These guidelines were developed at my request to further conserve our precious wildlife and supporting habitat," Governor Bill Richardson said.

The Oil and Gas Development Guidelines publication is available on the Department's website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us , or by clicking here. It contains 39 pages of discussion, research, and suggested options to further responsible energy development while maintaining responsible environmental practices. Written and researched by Department biologist Rachel Jankowitz, the publication addresses the inherent problems energy development poses to wildlife, such as habitat fragmentation and degradation, erosion, water quality, and chemical hazards. It also includes recommendations to avoid problems and mitigate existing habitat degradation.

The guidelines address oil and gas development effects on sensitive species and the state's species of greatest conservation need, as identified in the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy for New Mexico. It also recognizes the importance of wildlife to New Mexico's economy and quality of life. Wildlife-related recreation brings an estimated $1 billion a year to the state.

The guidelines are intended to provide information and promote discretionary use among industries, regulatory agencies and citizens who recognize the negative impacts oil and gas development can have on wildlife and habitat -- and who are open to suggestions about ways to remedy problems.

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