New Mexico Game and Fish Department Proposes Trapping Restrictions

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The New Mexico Department of Fish and Game has proposed a four-year plan for trapping that includes several restrictions on public land and larger set-back requirements for traps. The department has not yet been able to quantify how many acres are affected by the proposed rules.

The proposal would increase set-back distances from a quarter-mile to a half-mile buffer from designated trailheads, roadside rest areas, picnic areas or occupied dwellings. It would also outright ban trapping on the Sandia Ranger District, the eastern portion of the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument, and Forest Service lands within a half-mile of: NM Hwy 475 (road to Ski Santa Fe) in the Santa Fe National Forest, and NM Hwy 150 (road to Taos Ski Basin) in the Carson National Forest. 

The department is taking public comments on the proposal. Comments can be sent to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, Attn: Furbearer Rule Development, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504; or by email sent to

People are also encouraged to attend one of the public meetings across the state. While the agenda for the next commission meeting has not been announced, the commission will next meet on Sept. 18 at 9 a.m. in Cloudcraft at The Pavilion Room in the Lodge. 

Members can contact the commissioners either by phone at (505) 476-8000 or by email below:

Commissioner Joanna Prukop
Commissioner Roberta Salazar-Henry
Commissioner Jimmy Bates
Commissioner Gail Cramer
Commissioner Tirzio Lopez
Commissioner David Soules
Commissioner Jeremy Vesbach

“Wildlife management has no room for politics, and clearly some of the state’s current politicians have their sights set on ending trapping. The Sportsmen’s Alliance has already helped defeat one trapping bill and there’s another still active,” said Luke Houghton associate director of state services at Sportsmen’s Alliance. “The department isn’t able to say how many acres of land will be lost for trappers, and they can’t legitimize why the quarter-mile set-backs require such a drastic increase in distance. It’s all completely unfounded.” 

About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.