New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Dan Williams, (505) 476-8004
Public contact: (505) 476-8000
dan.williams@state.nm.us

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, JAN. 26, 2007:

AUCTION RAISES $210,000 FOR BIGHORN SHEEP PROGRAM
MEETINGS SCHEDULED STATEWIDE TO DISCUSS BEAR, COUGAR MANAGEMENT

AUCTION RAISES $210,000 FOR BIGHORN SHEEP PROGRAM

2006 auction ramSANTA FE - An authorization to hunt bighorn sheep generated a record $210,000 for New Mexico 's bighorn restoration program during last week's national convention of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep in Salt Lake City .

The bighorn authorization actually sold twice at the foundation's annual auction. The first winning bidder bought the authorization for $105,000, and then donated it back to the Department of Game and Fish. The authorization then went back on the auction block and sold again - to a different bidder - for another $105,000.

"This donation and the subsequent auction sale show how much value big-game trophy hunters place on New Mexico 's bighorn sheep," said Eric Rominger, the Department's bighorn biologist. "This auction has raised almost $1.9 million since it began in 1990, with 90 percent of that money going to the state for bighorn research, management and habitat improvement."

Last year's winning bidder paid $185,000 for the auction authorization, which allows the hunter to choose among five available hunting opportunities for either desert or Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep on public lands in New Mexico , or on private land with a landowner's permission.

The auction authorization is one of two "enhancement" authorizations the Department sells each year to raise funds for bighorn management. The second authorization is sold through a raffle. Tickets are $20 each, available through the New Mexico Chapter of the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep. Call (505) 299-4426 for information.

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MEETINGS SCHEDULED STATEWIDE TO DISCUSS BEAR, COUGAR MANAGEMENT

ALBUQUERQUE - The Department of Game and Fish has scheduled public meetings in communities statewide to discuss bear and cougar hunting and management strategies.

"The main reason for these meetings is to speak to the public about bear and cougar hunting, discuss bear and cougar management, present the details regarding changes to the cougar regulations, and to gather public input regarding current bear and cougar management," said Rick Winslow, large carnivore and furbearer biologist for the Department.

Here is a list of meetings currently scheduled:

For more information, and times and locations of meetings in your area, please contact Rick Winslow, (505) 268-6347 or frederic.winslow@state.nm.us .

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of a reader, amplifier, qualified sign language interpreter, or any other form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in the hearing or meeting, please contact Shirley Baker at (505) 476-8030. Please contact Baker at least three working days before the set meeting date. Public documents can be provided in various accessible forms. Please contact Baker if a summary or other type of accessible form is needed.

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