New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham quietly signed New Mexico Senate Bill 32 into law this week after a political process that lacked transparency and basic democratic principles. The bill deals a major blow to trappers and North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
Senate Bill 32 prohibits trapping on all public land in the state with few exceptions. Government agents working to resolve public safety issues, scientists conducting research and Native Americans can all still trap on public land.
The Sportsmen’s Alliance opposed Senate Bill 32 at every step of the legislative process and worked with a coalition of more than 20 organizations. Unfortunately, New Mexico’s legislature did not allow any in person meetings or provide opportunities for equitable input from opponents of SB 32. Effectively, the legislature passed a bill without any legitimate input from trappers, conservation officers or the New Mexico Fish and Game department.
The legislation was touted as a public safety bill to protect domestic dogs and, as a result, the bill passed at the expense of wildlife, the sportsmen’s community and the livelihoods of New Mexico’s ranching community. Even as these concerns were repeatedly raised by our coalition, not a single legitimate effort was made by either the house or the senate to amend the bill to limit the impacts on the above-mentioned groups. Multiple amendments were proposed, and all were turned down without any consideration. The process was stacked against our coalition from the start and activist legislators chose to protect the interest of animal-rights groups over the interests of the thousands of sportsmen and farmers, as well as the safety of New Mexico citizens.
“This process, conducted completely online, behind closed doors and in concert with animal-rights activists and organizations, made a mockery of the democratic process and raises grave concerns about the future of good-faith lawmaking efforts in New Mexico,” said Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services at the Sportsmen’s Alliance. “The future of science-based wildlife conservation in New Mexico is all but over if this has become their new legislative standard.”
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: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.