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, SEPT. 5, 2008:

-- DEPARTMENT SEEKS CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN HABITAT STAMP PROGRAM
-- MEETING WILL ADDRESS WILDLIFE DEPREDATION ISSUES IN THE NOGAL CANYON AND BENT AREAS OF SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO

DEPARTMENT SEEKS CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN HABITAT STAMP PROGRAM

ALBUQUERQUE -- The Department of Game and Fish is seeking individuals interested in serving as advisors for the Habitat Stamp Program.  As volunteers, advisors review and prioritize habitat improvement proposals and forward their recommendations to the State Game Commission.

Since 1990, all anglers, hunters and trappers who use U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management lands must purchase a Habitat Stamp. The Habitat Stamp Program then uses the $5 stamp fee for on-the-ground habitat improvements.

Citizens have been involved in every aspect of the program, advising which habitats are most in need of improvement. Citizens represent sporting, environmental, or public land permittee interests and meet each spring to prioritize local habitat proposals. Citizens serve 3-year terms.

"We have five regional Citizen Advisory Committees to involve citizens early on in the project-planning process," said Dale Hall, Habitat Stamp Program manager.  "What separates this program from other typical government programs is its citizen participation. Currently we are looking for volunteers to assist the Department in incorporating New Mexico’s Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy for New Mexico into project selection and design processes.”

Appointed by the State Game Commission, 14 current Citizen Advisory Committee members’ terms expire December 2008. Expiring terms include eight sportsmen and two each of environmentalists and permittees. They meet in April each year and attend field tours in summer months.

To volunteer, contact Dale Hall at (505) 222-4725 or at dale.hall@state.nm.us before Oct. 15.

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MEETING WILL ADDRESS WILDLIFE DEPREDATION ISSUES IN THE NOGAL CANYON AND BENT AREAS OF SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO

TULAROSA -- The Department of Game and Fish has scheduled a public meeting to solicit input from landowners and others interested in wildlife depredation issues in the Nogal Canyon and Bent areas of southeastern New Mexico.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Tularosa Community Center, 1050 Bookout Road.

The focus of this meeting will be concerns about deer and elk that have been damaging orchards and agricultural fields. The Department wants to hear perspectives, questions, and concerns from landowners, sportsmen and others about those and other depredation issues on private property in and around Nogal Canyon and Bent. The Department will use information from the meeting to work with landowners on possible solutions to depredation issues.

For more information, please contact Gabe Chavez, Southeast Depredation Coordinator, (575) 624-6135 or gabe.chavez@state.nm.us.

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