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More on Proposed New Mexico Restrictions on Non-Residents

February 10, 2011

As you've heard on on Hunt The West and elsewhere, non-resident hunting privileges are facing dramatic reductions (including a 2% allocation for DIY non-residents) as a result of Senate Bill 196 in New Mexico.

The 2% allocation was not part of the original language of the bill, but resulted from Senate Conservation Committee amendments that were based on input from New Mexico's outfitters.

Since then, NM State Senator George Munoz, who sponsored the bill, has reportedly objected to the 2% quota.

The New Mexico Wildlife Federation, a key force in organizing support for the bill, has also objected, stating "Two percent is clearly not enough for nonresidents."

SB 196 now goes to Senate Finance Committee, which could amend the bill and change the quota percentages again.

Outfits like Huntin' Fool and Eastman's Journal are urging non-residents to contact legislators in New Mexico to express their concerns.

Spokesman Joel Gay of the NMWF is also urging New Mexico residents to call their senators. "Tell them you’re a constituent who believes that a 90 percent resident quota is crucial, but that nonresidents deserve more than 2 percent. Help your senator understand that the crux of the problem is the large outfitter subsidy, and that no one should be forced to hire an outfitter just to get a tag."

I'm not a fan of SB196, but I respect the rights of New Mexico residents to work through the legislative process. And I definitely appreciate Senator Munoz and the NMWF realizing when things have gone too far -- a 2% allocation for non-residents is clearly too restrictive.

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