News & Commentary

Editorial: Why does NM give elk-hunt permits to private landowners, fire commissioners who question the status quo?

Editorial: Why does NM give elk-hunt permits to private landowners, fire commissioners who question the status quo?

By Albuquerque Journal Editorial Board

This editorial looks at the current flawed system in which New Mexico Game and Fish Commissioners are appointed and removed by the Governor with little to no oversight. This year, two commissioners were dismissed because their positions clashed with those of the governor. All appointed commissioners are supposed to by confirmed by the state Senate, although that has not happened in recent years.  “The system is stacked so the only qualification to serve is showing fealty to the governor rather than making independent decisions about a resource you’re entrusted to manage and protect on behalf of the residents of New Mexico. That has to change.”

Read more at Albuquerque Journal

Conserving – not killing – wildlife should drive Wisconsin’s natural resources strategy

Conserving – not killing – wildlife should drive Wisconsin’s natural resources strategy

By Fred Koontz & Adrian Treves

This op-ed examines Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources and its priorities (which are at odds with current human values and biodiversity needs). “Clarifying the DNR’s mandate around a top priority of conserving all wildlife for all people will provide a unifying direction for the floundering board and strengthen the department’s biodiversity mission. Changing the department’s purpose recognizes that government agencies require modifications as society’s needs and public values change.” 

Read more at Isthmus

Lead ammo and fishing tackle is dangerous for wildlife health, yet legislators resist ban

Lead ammo and fishing tackle is dangerous for wildlife health, yet legislators resist ban

By Michael Doyle

TUS Fish and Wildlife Service plans to open and expand hunting and fishing at 19 wildlife refuges which will open up 54,000 acres of land to hunting and fishing. While the federal agency will limit these opportunities to non-lead shells, ammo, and tackle, opposing senators have argued that “Policies or actions that reduce or limit sportsmen activities necessarily implicate wildlife conservation programs by affecting state agencies’ revenue.” These legislators are holding funding hostage in wildlife policymaking by urging the FWS Director not to ban lead. 

Read more at E&E News

Whose values count most in determining Vermont’s fish and wildlife priorities, regulations and public policies?

Whose values count most in determining Vermont’s fish and wildlife priorities, regulations and public policies?

By Walter Medwid

In this op-ed Medwid writes, “Vermonters should rethink the focus of the Fish & Wildlife Department. Threats to biodiversity and shifting human values challenge the underpinnings of the department and the Fish & Wildlife Board…Whose values count most in determining Vermont’s fish and wildlife priorities, regulations, and public policies?”

Read more in the Vermont Digger

Refocus Fish and Wildlife mandate on conservation

Refocus Fish and Wildlife mandate on conservation

By Fred Koontz.

In this op-ed by former Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission member Fred Koontz, he describes the current state of the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife as a ‘political quagmire.’ “States are obligated to protect wildlife for current and future generations. The sad truth is that we are failing.”

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New Mexico and wildlife — still more work to do

New Mexico and wildlife — still more work to do

By Chris Smith.

On April 1st, Roxy’s Law, which bans traps, snares, and poisons on public lands, went into effect in New Mexico. Despite this progress, New Mexico isn’t the beacon of wildlife management that it should be.

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