New Mexico Game Commission to Set Rules for 2007-2009

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The New Mexico Game Commission will meet Sept. 28-29 in Tucumcari to adopt new big-game hunting and trapping rules for the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons, and to consider higher civil penalties for poaching.

The meeting will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, and Friday, Sept. 29, at the Tucumcari Convention Center, Fort Bascom Room, 1500 W. Route 66. Thursday's session will include a training workshop for commissioners from 8 a.m. to noon, followed by the regular agenda. Discussion and adoption of the big-game and trapping rules will begin at 8 a.m. Friday.

The full agenda and other information are available on the Department of Game and Fish Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us or by calling (505) 476-8008.

The final big-game hunting and trapping rule proposals are expected to take up most of Friday's session. The proposals follow months of analysis and public involvement to determine strategies that best meet the Department of Game and Fish wildlife management objectives while providing quality and diverse recreational opportunities. Proposed rule changes include adjustments of season dates and hunting opportunities, more youth hunts, new requirements for trappers, and possible modifications to current antler point restrictions for deer and elk.

For more information and a summary of the proposed big-game rules, please visit the Department Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

Thursday's session will include a Department of Game and Fish proposal to set significant civil penalties for the illegal taking of trophy game animals and fish. The Commission was given authority to set the new civil penalties by the New Mexico Legislature. Current civil penalties, $500 for any elk and $250 for any deer, were deemed too low to compensate the state for the loss of unique trophy animals. Proposed penalties range from $2,000 to $10,000 for big game, depending upon the size of the illegally taken animal. The proposal also includes civil penalties of $150 for illegally taken trout 20 inches or longer, and $500 for Tom turkeys with beards 10 inches or longer or spurs 1 inch or longer.

The New Mexico 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 Leo Sims, chairman, Hobbs; Tom Arvas, vice-chairman, Albuquerque; Alfredo Montoya, Alcalde; David Henderson, Santa Fe; M.H. "Dutch" Salmon, Silver City; Peter Pino, Zia Pueblo; and Terry Riley, Tijeras. For more information, visit the Department of Game and Fish Web site at www.wildlife.state.nm.us.

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.

For more information about upcoming deadlines and events, call (505) 476-8000 or visit the Department's Web site, www.wildlife.state.nm.us.