Game Commission to hear dangerous proposals for cougars & bears 

Your voice is needed to prevent devastating wildlife management

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Sign the petition to protect NM cougars and bears!

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Last month, we wrote to you about NM Game & Fish Department’s proposed revisions to the state’s Bear & Cougar Rule, including dangerous management changes that would allow for increased hunting of cougar and bear, a new Spring hunting season for bear, and expansion of opportunities to cruelly trap cougar on public and private land.

Please join us in Santa Fe on August 27 to oppose destructive wildlife management proposals.

On June 13 in Taos, wildlife advocates and caring New Mexicans attended in force to decry these extreme and senseless recommendations. At the June Game Commission meeting, opponents of the proposed changes called upon the Governor-appointed Commissioners to reject the proposals that are being presented with little scientific justification by the department (NMDGF has only recent released new bear survey data while admitting that no new cougar population data will be released before the Game Commission is set for a final vote on the Rule changes on August 27).

To everyone who attended on June 13, wrote to the Game Commission and Game & Fish Department, and signed our petition, THANK YOU!

This summer, please join APNM and wildlife advocates statewide to turn up the heat and tell the State of New Mexico that our wildlife deserve respect and protection, not mass slaughter. We recently learned that the State Land Office, which oversees 9 million acres of our State Trust Land, requested in a June 12 letter that the Game & Fish Department allow cougar trapping without a permit on these lands. Read the Albuquerque Journal’s strong editorial opposing this request for expansion of cruel and dangerous trapping here.  

Sign our petition to add your voice in support of cougar conservation in New Mexico!


Please act now:

  • Sign and share our new petition against these extreme proposals. Hundreds have already signed, can you help us get thousands of signatures? You can sign online or download a hard copy to gather petition signatures. Please hurry! We are only collecting petitions until August 16th.

  • Join us to testify in person in Santa Fe on Thursday, August 27. The Game Commission meeting begins at 9am in the Santa Fe Community College Jemez Room (6401 Richards Ave; map).

  • Write to the Game Commission to oppose these proposed revisions to the Bear & Cougar Rule. If you can’t attend a public meeting, be sure to weigh in with your opposition on the NMDGF website.

  • Write a letter to the editor voicing your opposition to increased cougar and bear hunting and the State Land Office’s attempts to enormously increase cruel trapping in our state. Find talking points on the Bear & Cougar Rule revisions below.  

For more information, including how you can get involved in standing up for NM’s wild animals, contact APNM’s Wildlife Campaign Manager at or (505) 265-2322 x31.


Taos News, “Wildlife advocates converge on Taos to oppose expanded hunting of bears, cougars,” 6/14/15

Albuquerque Journal, “Easing of cougar trap rules on state trust lands sought,” 6/21/15

Albuquerque Journal, “Editorial: NM should get rid of, not expand, cruel traps,” 6/24/15


New Mexico Department of Game & Fish is proposing changes that would inflict more cruelty on our cougars and bears. The NMDGF cannot prove these changes are necessary, instead they are violating their mission by proposing irresponsible wildlife management.

  • Since increasing the annual cougar harvest limit from 490 to 749 in 2010, hunters have not killed over 300 animals in a year. However, the department is claiming that the state must kill more cougar (including horrific deaths from traps) without being able to produce a scientifically defensible population estimate.
    NMDGF biologists have admitted publicly that they will not be able to produce any new population estimates (not actual counts, but assumptions based on habitat) before the Game Commission is due to issue a final vote on the new Bear & Cougar Rule. The department is asking the public and the Commission to go along with their proposals on blind faith and is behaving in an unethical and irresponsible manner.
  • Cougar and bear regulate their own population. Overexploitation through hunting, trapping, and other causes of death is likely to throw the animals’ social structure into disarray and increase conflicts with humans and livestock.

New Mexicans do not support increased take of cougar and bear, and are especially opposed to trapping of cougar and Spring bear hunts. (NOTE: On June 3, the Game Commission issued a list of proposals to be considered at their meeting on June that doesn’t include trapping of cougar on public lands—but would eliminate the permit required for private landowners to trap cougar—and the Spring bear season. Nonetheless, these recommendations are still being promoted by the Game & Fish Department.)

  • New Mexicans are fed up with our Game & Fish Department lethally exploiting native species on behalf of special interests, including the livestock industry and outfitters. These proposals wreak havoc on the animals and our entire ecosystem, affecting not only these special interests but all New Mexicans. We call upon Governor Martinez and the New Mexico Game Commission to oppose these cruel and indefensible proposals.
  • The Albuquerque Journal issued two strong editorials in May 2015 calling upon the Game Commission to dismiss the proposals for cougar trapping and an increased bear hunt, and urged them to focus on real science instead (read and share the editorials here and here).
  • No other state manages wildlife in the manner that NMDGF is proposing. Only in Texas, where cougars are unprotected “varmint” species, is trapping of the animals legal.


Add your voice to the call to protect New Mexico's wildlife!

We, the undersigned citizens of New Mexico, call upon the New Mexico Game Commission and Governor Susana Martinez to oppose increased trapping of cougars as well as increased bag limits and methods of killing in cougar & bear hunting by both New Mexico citizens and tourists.

[Download this petition in PDF to print and share!]




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