Support HB 254 Game Commission Legislative Appointments

HB 254 (Game Commission Legislative Appointments) is scheduled to be heard by the House State Government, Indian & Veterans Affairs Committee on Tuesday, February 21st at 8:00am in Capitol Room 309.

The New Mexico Game Commission is a 7-member board appointed by the governor for the purpose of setting wildlife policy and overseeing the work of the NM Department of Game & Fish. The Commission was created nearly 100 years ago, when wild animals were largely valued only insofar as they could be "used" by hunters, anglers, and trappers. But New Mexicans’ relationship to wildlife has changed.

The number of New Mexicans (and the portion of our state's economy) that focuses on simply watching, photographing and appreciating wildlife for “non-consumptive” purposes has increased dramatically, now bringing in over $377 million to the state.

What's more, Game Commissioners serve at the pleasure of the Governor, are not required to have any education or experience in wildlife conservation, and can be removed for no reason (for example, for simply disagreeing with the administration). This has resulted in almost always unanimous Game Commission votes on wildlife policies that are based less on science and more on the political will of the Governor's office. And these policies can undulate radically from term to term, depending on who sits at the head of our state government.

House Bill 254 would adjust the Game Commission appointment process in order to create a more balanced (across political, geographic, and interest areas) and more knowledgable policy-making body by:
  • Setting 6-year term limits and staggering the terms;
  • Giving the Governor power to appoint 3 commissioners, one from each congressional district;
  • Giving Legislative Council Services power to appoint 4 commissioners:
    • 1 represenative from the sportsmen community,
    • 1 representative from the non-consumptive outdoor recreation community,
    • 1 representative from the agriculture community, and
    • 1 professional scientist specializing in biology, ecology, or wildlife management;
  • Ensuring that a game commissioner can only be removed for cause, not simply for an unpopular vote.

Take action below to make sure your legislators vote 'YES' on House Bill 254 to make sure Game Commission appointments can be more balanced and more effectively represent New Mexicans and support more diverse choices for our wildlife.

IMPORTANT: The more you personalize your letter, the more effective it will be in reaching and persuading your legislator. We’ve provided a draft letter for you, but we STRONGLY encourage you to edit the content of the form letter to put it in your own words. Tell a brief story about why this issue is personally important to you, and emphasize the facts that you think will resonate most with your legislator.