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But wildlife advocates won’t give up yet—read on for next steps

Despite overwhelming public outcry, on August 27, 2015, New Mexico’s Game Commission voted unanimously to endorse the following NMDGF proposals:

    Allowing cougar trapping using leg-hold traps and snares on state trust lands, totaling 9 million acres in New Mexico.
  • Removing the NMDGF permit requirement for landowners to use traps and snares on cougar.
  • Allowing one person to kill up to four cougars in game management zones where current enormously high cougar harvest quotas are not being met.

More than 200 people attended the commission meeting, with a vast majority in opposition to the proposals. At the last minute, the Game Commission chairman limited public comment to 30 minutes per side, totaling one hour. While those who supported the cruel changes to the Bear and Cougar Rule barely filled their time with testimony, opponents—including Phil Carter, representing APNM—ran out of time after a only a dozen citizens and organizations were able to speak.

Despite results from a statewide poll showing opposition to the proposals by more than a 3 to 1 margin, and despite clear lack of science to support a decision to expand cougar trapping and hunting, the Commission voted unanimously to approve the extreme measures. Many in the audience questioned the lack science of science and rationale for the increase in killing methods.

Opposition to killing more cougars was of course voiced by animal advocates, but also by ranchers, farmers and hunters. Helen McCloskey, a New Mexico farmer, rancher and wildlife advocate, opposed the elimination of landowner’s permits to trap cougar. “As a person who does ranch and farm, important data comes from obtaining permits.” McCloskey, along with the majority of those in attendance, expressed extreme concern for provision that allows trapping on state trust land.  “Traps catch every damn thing and someday they’re going to catch a kid,” she said.

The Commission’s decision to approve these cruel and dangerous cougar trapping measures is scheduled to go into effect April 2016, but the fight to protect our cougars will not stop.

Your Voice Matters. Take Back Your Power. 

The Game Commission is an unelected Governor-appointed seven-member body—so, despite thousands of petition signatures, the latest poll results, and the outcry at the Game Commission meeting, it’s clear these Commissioners do not represent the vast majority of New Mexicans.

You have the power to change the laws by talking to your elected officials and joining the movement to stop cougar trapping:

  1. Contact your State Senator and State Representative and ask them to enact a statewide ban on cruel traps and snares.
  2. Get the word out by visiting our Facebook page and sharing important information
  3. Call or write Governor Martinez to let her know New Mexicans do not support the extreme cougar and bear killing measures adopted by her Game Commission.
  4. Donate to finish the fight to Stop Cougar Trapping!

APNM has plans in motion! Keep watching the Stop Cougar Trapping website for ways you can stop cougar trapping. If you are interested in making a difference through local organizing and action, please feel free to contact Jessica Johnson, APNM’s chief legislative officer at Jessica@apnm.org.

For more information about the Commission’s decision, please read APNM’s press release online.


Renowned humorist and writer Jack Handey has some
Deep Thoughts on New Mexico killing more cougars.

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