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, MAY 13, 2008:

BLACK-FOOTED FERRETS, SAN JUAN FISHING RULES ON TAP AT COMMISSION MEETING
PUBLIC HEARING WILL ADDRESS GILA TROUT RECOVERY METHODS

BLACK-FOOTED FERRETS, SAN JUAN FISHING RULES ON TAP AT COMMISSION MEETING

FARMINGTON -- The New Mexico Game Commission will consider proposals to restore endangered black-footed ferrets to New Mexico, and to limit the number of hooks anglers may use on a single line on portions of the San Juan River at the Commission's May 29 meeting in Farmington.

The meeting will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 29, at San Juan College, 4601 College Blvd., Room 7103, in Farmington. The full agenda, detailed agenda-item briefings, and other information are available on the Department of Game and Fish website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us or by calling (505) 476-8008.
Agenda items include:
● A proposal to limit to two the number of flies anglers may use on a single line in areas of the San Juan River quality trout waters below Navajo Dam. Anglers have expressed concerns that fish on the San Juan River are being injured when lines with multiple flies break and wrap around fish. Broken lines with flies also are potential hazards to waterfowl and other wildlife.
● A proposal to initiate a Department-administered program to encourage youth participation in shooting activities and hunting, with possible implementation in 2009.
● A proposal to establish a black-footed ferret population on Vermejo Park Ranch in Colfax County. The Turner Endangered Species Fund has operated a black-footed ferret breeding facility at the ranch near Maxwell since 1998 and has had success pre-conditioning the ferrets in enclosed prairie dog towns for release elsewhere. The Turner Endangered Species Fund wants to expand those efforts to allow the federally endangered ferrets to remain free-ranging in efforts to create a self-sustaining population.
● A proposal to approve a revised recovery plan for the meadow jumping mouse and the Arizona montane vole, riparian rodents currently listed as endangered under the state Wildlife Conservation Act. The meadow jumping mouse (Zapus hudsonius) is found in the Jemez, Sangre de Cristo, Sacramento, and potentially the San Juan mountains. Recent surveys indicated a 67 to 91 percent decline in populations throughout the state. The Arizona montane vole (Microtus montanus arizonensis) is found in a very small region in Catron County.
● A report about the Department's ongoing efforts to diminish prospects of aquatic invasive species being introduced into New Mexico.
● A quarterly report on depredation program efforts, resolution of depredation complaints and recent depredation events around the state.
● An update on Open Gate Hunting and Fishing Access program, including enrolled properties and funds spent to enhance access to hunting, fishing and wildlife enjoyment activities.
● An update on the status of bighorn sheep restoration efforts in the Dry Cimarron River drainage of northeastern New Mexico.
The State Game Commission is composed of seven members who represent the state’s diverse interests in wildlife-associated recreation and conservation. Members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state Senate. Current members are Chairman Tom Arvas, Albuquerque; Vice-chairman M.H. “Dutch” Salmon, Silver City; Alfredo Montoya, Alcalde; Leo Sims, Hobbs; Sandy Buffett, Santa Fe; Jim McClintic, Albuquerque; and Oscar Simpson, Albuquerque.
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 meeting, please contact Shirley Baker, (505) 476-8030. Public documents, including the agenda and minutes, can be provided in various accessible forms.

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PUBLIC HEARING WILL ADDRESS GILA TROUT RECOVERY METHODS

SANTA CLARA, N.M. -- The New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission will conduct a public hearing May 28 in Santa Clara to present and hear comments about a petition by the Department of Game and Fish to use piscicides to eradicate non-native species of trout from 21.3 miles of streams in the upper West Fork drainage of the Gila River.

The treatment is necessary to enable restoration of native Gila trout (Oncorhynchus gilae) to the watershed. Repatriation of Gila trout to renovated reaches of the upper West Fork of the Gila River will be a major contribution to recovery of the species, its ultimate delisting as a state and federally protected species, and its restoration as a sport fish in its native range.

The hearing will be at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 28, at the National Guard Armory, 11990 Highway 180 East, in Santa Clara near Silver City. The petition is available for review at the New Mexico Environment Department, 1190 St. Francis Drive, in Santa Fe.

Anyone who wishes to be treated as an interested participant and to cross-examine witnesses at the hearing must file with the Commission an "entry of appearance" notification at least 10 days before the hearing. All interested participants will be given reasonable opportunities to submit relevant evidence, data, views, and arguments, orally or in writing, to introduce exhibits, and to examine witnesses.

Persons desiring to present technical evidence must file a written statement with the Commission at least 10 days before the hearing. The statement must include the name of the person filing the statement, whether the statement supports or opposes the petition, names of all witnesses, estimated lengths of witness testimonies, a list of exhibits to be offered as evidence, and a summary of the anticipated testimony of each witness.

Any person who has not filed a timely entry of appearance or a statement of intent to present technical evidence may submit a general non-technical statement, either oral or written, at or before the hearing.

For more information and details about the notices and statements, please call (505) 827-2002.
 
Entries of appearance, notices of intent to present technical evidence and written statements should be sent to:

  • Sally Worthington, New Mexico Environment Department,1190 St. Francis Drive, Room N-2150, Santa Fe, NM 87502.
  • Jim Karp, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, P.O. Box 25112, Santa Fe, NM 87504.

If you require assistance, an interpreter, or auxiliary aid to participate in this process, please contact Judy Bentley by Friday, May 16, at the New Mexico Environment Department, Personnel Services Bureau, P.O. Box 26110, 1190 St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87502, (505) 827-9872.  TDD or TDY can contact Bentley through the New Mexico Relay Network (TDY users at (800) 659-8331; TDD users at (800) 659-1779.

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