Unified Action: July 2019

Encourage the Doña Ana County Commission to Stay with the Contract they Passed re: Wildlife Services

Sponsored by Southwest Environmental Center, www.wildmesquite.org

The Issue

Doña Ana County took a big step last week towards coexisting with wildlife by making changes to an annual contract with Wildlife Services, a federal agency contracted by counties to deal with “nuisance” wildlife complaints using mostly lethal methods.

On July 9th, the County Commission approved a new contract that requires the agency to make at least two attempts to resolve conflicts non-lethally before resorting to killing the animal. This is the first time the contract has been amended like this in decades. The amendment was introduced by Commissioner Manuel Sanchez and supported by Commissioners Ramon Gonzalez and Shannon Reynolds.

However, this is an agency that doesn’t like being told what to do. We’ve learned that under pressure from Wildlife Services, the contract will be back on the Doña Ana County Commission’s agenda at its Tuesday, August 13th meeting, with the goal of rendering useless the amendment introduced by Commissioner Sanchez.

Our goal is to pack that meeting, and make sure the Commission hears our voices and doesn’t sell out our wildlife.

Wildlife Services has been fighting New Mexico counties all month, and unfortunately they’ve been winning. The Grant County Commission voted recently to prohibit the agency from using traps and poisons, but came under intense pressure from Wildlife Services and its allies and reversed that decision last week. We cannot let this powerful agency continue to bully our communities.

Click here for a recap of the raucous July 9th meeting, and see the recording here. The Wildlife Services section starts approximately forty minutes in.

What we are asking

1. Contact your commissioner.

  • Urge them to stay strong and stick with the contract they passed on July 9th. No more changes!
  • Tell them you support the amendment introduced by Commissioner Sanchez requiring the agency to attempt non-lethal methods before resorting to killing an animal.
  • Urge them to ban traps and poisons in future contracts with Wildlife Services.

2. Attend the County Commission meeting on Tuesday, August 13th and make public comment.

3. Submit a Letter to the Editor of the Las Cruces Sun News explaining your thoughts on this issue.

Commissioner Contact Info:

District 1, Lynn Ellins:
575-386-9874
lellins@donaanacounty.org

District 2, Ramon Gonzalez:
575-635-5212
rgonzalez@donaanacounty.org

District 3, Shannon Reynolds:
575-339-5819
sreynolds@donaanacounty.org

District 4, Isabella Solis:
575-635-2479
isolis@donaanacounty.org

District 5, Manuel Sanchez:
575-386-9815
msanchez@donaanacounty.org