|DEPARTMENT LOOKING FORWARD TO AN EXCITING AND EVENTFUL YEAR
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has several important key initiatives this year, including the search for a new department director, the development of new hunting seasons for the next four years, updating the State Wildlife Action Plan, increasing youth-program opportunities, and recruiting new conservation officers.
Nationwide Search Begins
The New Mexico State Game Commission will begin a nationwide search for the next director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. The recruitment will run from January 24 to March 24, 2014. The commission will advertise the position nationwide with the assistance of many of our country’s fish and wildlife agencies, conservation organizations, universities, and internet career and job search sites. The announcement also will be on the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, and Facebook page.
For more information, please visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us.
The Department is currently seeking public input on several big-game hunting rules like Barbary sheep, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, ibex, javelina, pronghorn and oryx. The Department is also seeking input for turkey, small-game and migratory birds. These rules are reviewed and revised every four years. The involvement of hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts is invaluable during the review process to ensure that their perspectives help influence hunting seasons and licenses numbers for the next four years. As the process develops, proposed adjustments to the various rules will be available for public review on the Department website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us, by clicking on the "public comments" tab. Public comment, harvest and survey data, as well as biological information on population sustainability and management goals will all be considered by the State Game Commission when finalizing the rules later this year.
State Wildlife Action Plan Update
New Mexico’s diverse wildlife and habitat once again take center stage, as the Department begins work to unite natural resource agencies, sportsmen and women, conservationists and private citizens to help revise the State Wildlife Action Plan. The current plan, originally titled the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, is due to be updated so that it continues to serve as guide to help keep species in our state with the greatest conservation need from becoming threatened. The strategic plan helps the Department and many other state and federal land management agencies evaluate projects and incorporate benefits for wildlife. New Mexico’s plan was recognized nationally as an example of excellence.
National Archery in the Schools – Bigger and Better Than Ever
Over 40 teams from schools across the state are expected to participate in New Mexico’s 2014 National Archery in the Schools Program State Tournament on Sat., March 8 at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. Last year over 500 students competed and this year the Department is expecting more than 600 competitors. The top five archers for each division qualify for the National NASP Tournament May 9-10 in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Department is actively recruiting qualified men and women to serve in its conservation officer ranks. Recruitment is open now and will end Feb. 7, 2014
Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college, passing a physical fitness test, and successfully completing a five-month training course at the state’s Law Enforcement Academy. Acceptable college degrees include biology, fisheries science or management, wildlife science or management, animal science, forestry, range science or management, agricultural science, environmental science, wildlife law enforcement, criminal justice, ecology, natural resource science or management, or zoology.
Applicants will need to provide verifiable proof of an appropriate degree. Recruiting notice and application instructions are available on the State Personnel Office web site, www.spo.state.nm.us.
Collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations
The Department recently met with New Mexico Wildlife Federation President John Crenshaw and Executive Director Garrett VeneKlasen. During the meeting both parties expressed a desire to form a more positive working relationship between the Federation and the Department.
Interim Director R.J. Kirkpatrick welcomed this approach and felt both entities and the public will benefit from such collaboration. “It is important to seek common ground on issues like hunting and fishing opportunities as well as sound and balanced wildlife management practices that are important to hunters, anglers, trappers, rural communities, and everyone passionate about wildlife,” said Kirkpatrick.
The Department is encouraged by this meeting with the Federation and extends an open door policy to any group that wishes to discuss wildlife or fisheries management issues or concerns with the Department.