NM HB184 Commission Reform Bill
New Mexico’s State Game Commission has been the victim of politics for many years. The state’s governor has the sole power to appoint and remove, without cause, members to the commission. The New Mexico State Game Commission has been without a single commissioner for periods longer than four months under the current governor. Until just a couple of weeks ago, there wasn't even enough commissioners on the board to form a quorum.
State Rep. Matthew McQueen put forth HB184 to reform the commission and help prevent it from being used as a political weapon. Specific seats would be added to represent ranchers, sportsmen, and conservation groups. The remaining three appointments could still be filled by the governor, but they and current commissioners would also be protected from being summarily dismissed with the passage of HB184
HB184 would alter the current structure of the appointed commission overseeing the department by adding specific seats for ranchers, hunters, and conservationists and limiting the governor's appointments to just 3 of the 7 seats available. It would also prevent the governor from removing members at-will. This has drawn wide support from groups like the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Trout Unlimited, and the New Mexico Houndsmen Association. In a rare show of unified support, the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, and Defenders of Wildlife have endorsed HB184.
HB184 has passed the legislature and has been sent to Governor Lujan Grisham to be signed. It does not seem she will be favorable to this limitation of her powers. Jesse Deubel, Executive Director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, summarizes: “The future of wildlife management needs to be sound and scientific, what obstructs us from that goal are decisions being made on a political basis. As long as commissioners can be removed by the governor at will, wildlife management is threatened.”
Governor Grisham needs to hear the sportsmen’s voices urging her to sign this bill. Her signature will restore credibility and distinction to the commission and those who volunteer to serve. Wildlife in New Mexico deserves to be elevated above partisan fights and conserved for all generations.
LISTEN: Ahi Va Podcast: Decommissioned
When you take action you'll be emailing the New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham and staff. This bill has already passed the House & Senate with Bi-Partisan support. 1 of 80 different messages will pop up below for you to send to them or you can edit and write your own. If you are a NM resident be sure to include that in your email. Customize your own message as much as you can. Please be respectful and be sure to stress the importance of having a balanced, well represented commission consisting of ranchers, sportsmen & conservationists. The Governor needs to sign this bill to codify it.
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