New Mexico Wildlife

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

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Habitat Stamp Program  

Last Updated: 06/09/2014

What's it all about?


The New Mexico Habitat Stamp Program (HSP) is a joint venture between sportspersons and the agencies that manage wildlife and their habitat. Each year, licensed hunters, anglers, and trappers, on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or U. S. Forest Service (USFS) lands, are required to purchase the “stamp” or validation from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF). The federal Sikes Act authorizes the program. Each year, sportsmen purchase about $1 million worth of validations or stamps.


These funds are dedicated to pro-active habitat improvement projects. Over 200 projects are developed from agency planning documents each year. Because funding is not available for all projects, they are reviewed and prioritized by a regional Citizens' Advisory Committee (CAC) and ultimately, by the State Game Commission.


Members of the CAC represent sportspersons, public land permittees, and environmentalists and are responsible for establishing project priority lists. After public comment, the Committees set project priorities. The lists are submitted to the New Mexico State Game Commission for approval.

Project work is completed by the responsible agency. Numerous volunteer organizations and individuals contribute expertise and labor during the work phase. Some organizations donate funding to projects to increase its effectiveness or magnitude.


The Habitat Stamp Program is not just for sportspersons. Anyone interested in New Mexico's wildlife and wildlife habitats is encouraged to purchase the validation and participate in Helping Wildlife Where it Counts. . . Where Wildlife Lives.


Mission Statement

Habitat Stamp Program cooperators are to provide ecologically diverse wildlife and fish habitats on USFS and BLM managed lands by involving the public in an effective, cost efficient, honest, and cooperative management process for enjoyment and use by current and future generations of New Mexicans.

How Can You Participate?

Everyone who purchases the habitat stamp or validation is participating in the Habitat Stamp Program. We encourage non-sportsmen and women to consider purchasing the stamp at any license vendor. The habitat work accomplished by this program is of benefit non-game as well as game species.


If you would like to become more involved consider volunteering to serve on one of the five regional Citizen Advisory Committees. These committees are comprised of 5 sportsmen representatives, 1 environmental representative and 1 public land user (grazing permittee, oil and gas representative, etc.). The HSP Manager accepts nominations at any time. Nominations are forwarded to the State Game Commission for appointment. Members serve two-three year terms and are eligible for reappointment to a second term. The CAC meets once a year to prioritize projects and periodically attend field trips to visit habitat projects. Additional meetings are held as needed to accomplish program work.

If you or your organization is interested in volunteer work on HSP projects contact the Department HSP Manager listed below or the wildlife biologists in each of the BLM Field Offices or USFS Ranger Districts. Opportunities for volunteer work include project construction, monitoring, and maintenance.


Contact HSP Manager at:

New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Attn: HSP Manager
3841 Midway Place, NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

(505) 476-8034


Your HSP investment at work. . .

Recognizing wildlife habitat is the key to increased wildlife populations; in 1991 the New Mexico State Game Commission approved the statewide implementation of the Habitat Stamp Program. Finally, thanks to sportsmen from whom a mandatory $5 fee is collected, there have been substantial funds available for wildlife habitat improvement. Every year sportsmen purchase approximately $900 thousand dollars worth of Habitat Stamp validations before they go afield to hunt, fish, or trap on BLM or USFS lands in New Mexico.

Wetland, Waterway, and Riparian Projects
Improvement of wetlands, waterways, and riparian areas enhance habitat for the wildlife that live both in and around wet environments. These improvements include in-stream structures, bank stabilization, riparian plantings, riparian enclosures, and aquatic sampling.


Vegetation Projects
Improvement of food, cover, and movement corridors is accomplished through a wide variety of projects, each designed to improve habitat. These projects include prescribed burns and thinning; chemical application; cutting and clearing; and seeding.


Water Developments
Providing dependable sources of water benefits all wildlife. Water developments can include earth tanks, seep and spring enhancement, storage tanks, reservoir expansion, and maintaining existing structures.


Other Related Projects
There are numerous other Habitat Stamp projects being completed that have a more indirect effect on improving the quality of wildlife and habitat. Such projects include wildlife census, species reintroduction, road management, fencing and fence modifications, right-of-way acquisitions, and law enforcement.


Accomplishments of the Habitat Stamp Program

In the 22-year life of the Program, 1,928 wildlife habitat projects have been funded at a level of over $28.6 million (see Appendix IV).  In this effort, HSP has contributed $14.3 million and federal agencies have spent an additional $12.6 million in matching funds in the form of cash, costs of planning, fiscal tracking, NEPA documenting, and obtaining archeological/cultural clearances.  Since it was tracked in 1999, other organizational contributions have contributed $1.8 million in time and cash to this effort.

The combined agency (USFS and BLM) ratio for matching funds over the life of the program, 1986-2007, has been $0.88 for each $1 spent by HSP.  The cooperating agencies’ ability to match HSP funding varies from year to year based upon other priorities and the level of federal challenge-cost-share funding within agencies’ budgets.

During its life, the Program has improved over 594,000 acres of habitat, enhanced over 10,500 acres of riparian habitat, built 690 places for wildlife to obtain water, completed 680 wildlife populations/habitat surveys, completed 17 wildlife transplants (bison, pronghorn, and turkey), improved 74 fishing areas, maintained previously built structures 6,400 times, reduced human impacts on wildlife, improved enjoyment of wildlife, and much more!