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New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Ross Morgan, (505) 222-4707
Public contact: (888) 248-6866
ross.morgan@state.nm.us 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SEPT. 23, 2013:

GAME AND FISH SEEKS CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN HABITAT STAMP PROGRAM

ALBUQUERQUE – The Department of Game and Fish is seeking individuals interested in serving as advisors to the Habitat Stamp Program. As volunteers, advisors review habitat plans, prioritize habitat improvement proposals and forward their recommendations to the Department.

Each year since 1990, all anglers, hunters and trappers who use U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands must purchase a Habitat Stamp. The Habitat Stamp Program then uses the $5 fee for on-the-ground habitat improvements.

Citizen advisors are involved in every aspect of the program to help determine which habitats are most in need of improvement. Citizens who represent sporting and nonsporting conservation interests, along with public-land grazing permittee interests, meet each winter to provide input to and review habitat conservation plans. They reconvene in the spring to prioritize habitat proposals. Advisors serve three-year terms.

"We have five regional Citizen Advisory Committees to involve citizens early in the project-planning process," Habitat Stamp Program Manager Dale Hall said. "What separates this program from other typical government programs is its citizen participation. Currently we are looking for volunteers to continue to assist the Department in making the wisest use of their Habitat Stamp dollars.”
                                                        
The State Game Commission will appoint 35 citizens at its meeting Nov. 14 in Taos. Each of the five advisory committees will be composed of seven members representing conservation and public-land grazing permittee interests. Besides meeting twice a year, advisors attend field tours in summer months and report Habitat Stamp Program restoration efforts to their peers. Participation is completely voluntary.

To volunteer to serve and to learn more information about the program, please visit the Habitat Stamp Program page on the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us under the Conservation tab. Application forms are available on the website or by contacting Dale Hall at (505) 222-4725 or dale.hall@state.nm.us. Applications are due by Oct. 5, 2013.

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