The New Mexico House of Representatives voted 66-1 on Sunday to allow 4 bighorn ram permits to be auctioned off. This increases the permits that will be auctioned or raffled off by two. In previous years, an auction has raised $190,000 for a permit. The money earned is used for conservation programs to help the bighorn habitat and to increase the population.
Governor Susana Martinez's signature is the last thing needed for the permits to increase, as the Senate approved it last week.
New Mexico is home to desert bighorn sheep and Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. The desert bighorn sheep population was close to extinction and placed on the endangered species list, but after 31 years their numbers and herd health was well enough to remove them from the list. The hunts for desert bighorn are limited, 1 permit was offered last year, there will be 16 available for public tag lottery this year. 24 permits will be available for Rocky Mountain bighorn in New Mexico for this year's season allotted by public drawing. From Las Cruces Sun-News .