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, JUNE 26, 2009:

PUBLIC MEETINGS WILL ADDRESS PROPOSED G.A.I.N. RULE CHANGES

The Department of Game and Fish will conduct four public meetings around the state in July to present proposed changes and hear public concerns about the Gaining Access Into Nature (GAIN) program, which provides public access to State Game Commission-controlled properties for wildlife-associated recreation.

Proposals include changing rules to better define access opportunities and fee requirements for specific wildlife management areas. The Commission will consider proposals and public comments at a future meeting.

GAIN was approved by the state Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson in 2005. The law opened for the first time thousands of acres of Commission-controlled wildlife management areas for limited public recreation other than hunting and fishing. The wildlife areas were purchased specifically for wildlife using funds provided through excise taxes on hunting and fishing gear, and are managed with restrictions that exceed those for other "public" lands.

Several state wildlife areas currently are open to public recreation under GAIN. Visitors ages 18 or older must have either a year-round or five-day GAIN permit and a Habitat Management and Access Validation to use the properties. Costs for the permits, including the validation, are $19 for a full year, $8 for five days. Licensed hunters and anglers do not need GAIN permits while pursuing those activities in season, but need GAIN permits for other activities.

Meeting schedule:

  • Chama area: 6 to 8 p.m. July 1, Heron Lake State Park visitor center, 13 miles south of Chama on N.M. 95, three miles off U.S. 84.
  • Farmington area: 6 to 8 p.m. July 6, Bloomfield Multicultural Center, 333 S. First St., Bloomfield.
  • Cimarron: 6 to 8 p.m. July 8, City Council Conference Room, Cimarron.
  • Silver City area: 6 to 8 p.m. July 9, National Guard Armory, 11990 U.S. 180 E., Santa Clara.

For more information about the meetings or GAIN, please call (505) 476-8000 or visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

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