NM Legislative Alert 2/10/21

Biodiversity & Wild Horse Wipe-Out Bill masquerading currently as an anti-trapping bill: NM Senate Bill (SB32).

Help us to get this bill Amended Asap!

BIO-DIVERSITY losses will be Arbitrary & Capricious: NM government agencies will be allowed to remove and dispose of native vertebrates w/o oversight, expertise, or specific public records requirements.

Without amendment, SB32[1] provides that: any federal or local governmental agency[2] could “capture” and “dispose” of any non-game vertebrate as a nuisance to non-native livestock or crops on our public lands under proposed Section NMSA 17-11-4.G., p. 5, lines 23-24, “. . . or to abate damages caused by any animal to property, crops or livestock.“

SB32 will not stop trapping on private lands, and will not stop governmental trapping on public lands.  California[3] and 85 other countries have banned trapping. Shall New Mexico be last?[4]

Competition between livestock[5] and game animals is the root cause of virtually all predator trapping, as predators are self-regulating[6] and rarely attack people[7]. New Mexico[8] government is both pro-livestock and pro-hunting of game animals, and is anti-wildlife. This, does not represent the people. Many of these issues can be addressed through rural economic development utilizing the WHOA National Plan[9] and a similar plan for Hunters.

WILD-EQUINE losses of our few remaining State’s wild horses, protected by law since 2007[10], will also be catastrophic. States have always owned their wildlife, even when roaming on federal lands, per the State Ownership Doctrine[11]. Under SB32, Federal agencies would gain NM State’s “approval” for illegal capture of NM’s wild horses by the New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB), as agent, on federal lands along with the “approval” to take other NM State’s wildlife on federal lands, which they have never had “ownership” or authority under the State Ownership Doctrine to do before!  

These federal agencies under SB32 can put NM State’s wild horses in the hands of the NMLB, which has recently, repeatedly, and illegally, per the courts (see WHOA v. NMLB in 2015[12] and 2018), colluded, stole, and put our wild horses up for public auction which the courts then set FREE! Per a US Supreme Court ruling, these federal agencies including the BLM[13] have also acted illegally in NM to wipe out our federally protected equines. NM agencies also endanger our protected wolves[14]. NM now has no burros, and the 7000+ wild horses are down to only 543[15].   

HENCE, AMENDMENT Needed: Please join us in asking the NM Senate Judiciary Committee and the NM Legislature to pass an amendment to SB32 which will ensure this bill does not refer to equines, and also removes the second clause in NMSA 17-11-4.G., p. 5, lines 23-24, “. . . or to abate damages caused by any animal to property, crops or livestock.“ This clause is heinous and must be removed because native wildlife families will be thrown out of their perennial wildland home, in favor of seasonal non-native livestock.

Legislators have an ethical duty to represent the people, and therefore to understand what they are voting on. The wildlife belongs to the people of the state and the state is the trustee. Unequal protection of the livestock industry will no longer suffice.

 Without amendment, SB32 allows wildlife and their families to be captured & disposed of as nuisances although residing on their and our own public wildlands. Please email your support of this requested amendment to the Senate Judiciary committee members here: joseph.cervantes@nmlegis.gov , oneillsd13@billoneillfornm.com , cliff.pirtle@nmlegis.gov , greg.baca@nmlegis.gov , katy.duhigg@nmlegis.gov ,  daniel.ivey-soto@nmlegis.gov , linda.lopez@nmlegis.gov , mark.moores@nmlegis.gov , mimi.stewart@nmlegis.gov , please copy wildhorsesnm@yahoo.com.

CAVEAT: Although SB32 is supported by the Sierra Club and Animal Protection Voters of NM, please don’t let this confuse you. Sierra Club[16] has advocated since 1975 against free roaming wild horses as natives[17], and APVNM[18] has recently lobbied against wild horses in favor of a livestock industry bill in 2017and their testimony has aided another. These bills were Senator Pat Wood’s anti-wild horse bills SB126[19] and SB158.  

WHITE BOARD VIDEO ON SB126: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg6ata_bvc8  This was also supported by the Cattle Growers, Wool Growers, and NM Livestock Bureau lobbyists, alongside the APVNM lobbyist. They were notcompromise bills in any sense and would have handed jurisdiction of wild horses over to the NMLB, and worse. See Whiteboard Video explanation of these tricky bills with non-helpful edits above.

SB126 came back morphed in 2019 as SB158, still working to undo the wild horse protections won in NMSA 77-18-5 (2007) which had been upheld by the Courts thanks to citizens’[20] due process at great care, expense, and effort.

APVNM continued to claim in 2019 that the NMLB already had jurisdiction over NM State’s wild horses but did not generally or publicly notify members when these bills would be heard. This jurisdiction fallacy supported SB158 and was finally laid to rest in the House Indian Affairs Committee, 2019, where SB158 itself was also finally laid to rest in favor of a pro-wild horse Memorial offered by three Representatives, HM93[21] (2019).

Unfortunately, APVNM/APNM lobbying alongside the livestock industry lobbyists for bad bill SB126 and their false jurisdiction argument in 2019, gave legislators a pro-animal name to hide their anti-wild horse and pro-livestock industry votes behind. We are now worried that this may have constituted illegal conspiracy[22] under US Title 18; NMSA Chapter 10, Title 16, etc., and more, for those bills and perhaps for SB32 as well. 

Author/Contact: Patience O’Dowd Board WHOA-Voters  wildhorsesnm@yahoo.com

Endorsed by: Dr. Lester Friedlander DVM. USDA Veterinarian, Board WHOA

Editor: Cheryl Gibson APVNM-member 10+ yrs.                 

FOOT NOTES 1-22 Below

[1] Senate Bill SB32: Co-Sponsored by Deb Haaland’s recent staff member, NM Senator Brenda McKenna. However, we have asked her for an amendment. https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?Chamber=S&LegType=B&LegNo=32&year=21

[2] New Section 17-11-2. H. “”government entity” means a local, state, or federal government body or agency; a political subdivision of the state; or an employee, agent, or representative of the body, agency, or political subdivision. . . .” Political subdivision includes Land Grants which will still be allowed to trap under the definition of public lands in 17-11-2-K.

[3] California stops trapping 2019. https://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/articles/entry/california-first-state-to-ban-fur-trapping/

[4] Eighty-five Countries have banned trapping. https://awionline.org/awi-quarterly/2013-fall/while-world-moves-us-still-caught-its-traps#:~:text=Although%20more%20than%2085%20countries,to%20defend%20these%20inhumane%20devices

[5] Minimal Livestock Losses although 93 million cattle & unknown no. of sheep are all over our Wilderness Areas and Wildlands https://wildearthguardians.org/historical-archive/livestock-losses/

[6] A defining feature of large carnivores may be their ability to regulate their own population density.

[7] https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-animals-that-kill-most-humans.html  Land Predators kill 8 (6 snake bites, 1 alligator) people/yr., Large Mammal Wild Predators kill 0.8 people/yr., in the US. https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1544&context=hwi#:~:text=estimate%20how%20many%20people%20are,approximately%208%20people%20died%20annually Human Homicides 19,141  https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm

 CDC   All suicides Number of deaths: 47,511: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/suicide.htm 
Death by Dogs 2019: 46 https://www.animals24-7.org/2020/01/04/pit-bulls-killed-33-of-46-u-s-victims-of-fatal-dog-attacks-in-2019/

[8] In 2019 this administration passed “wild-life” corridor bills for free range livestock and game animals only, refusing to provide like corridors for the legally wild horses of Placitas or Lincoln County, etc., and also not providing same for other non-game vertebrates. New Mexico BLM and NMLB have all but wiped-out our legally wild equines, from only ~7000 in 1974 down to 543 in 1978 without explanation. NM is the only state in the Union which defied the 1971 Wild Horse and Burro Act (“1971 Act”) as unconstitutional all the way to the US Supreme Court, where they lost, after wiping out Lincoln Co.’s Wild Burros.

[9] The WHOA National Plan: A sustainable plan for public lands ranchers: https://whoanm.org/wordpress/?p=422

[10] WHOA Wild Horse legislation with Senator Komadina MD. which was also not supported by APNM.

[11] State Ownership Doctrine, Public Trust Doctrine, Common Law, and Caselaw

[12] WHOA v NMLB Court Cases 2015 NM Appellate Court https://whoanm.org/wordpress/?p=317 , and 2018 12th District Court https://whoanm.org/wordpress/?p=528

[13] Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

[14] Game Commission Disregards Perils to Endangered Wolves, Pets https://biologicaldiversity.org/w/news/press-releases/new-mexico-oks-widespread-trapping-despite-broad-public-opposition-2020-01-17/

[15] 1995 Joint Report to Congress by the BLM and USDA FS. The tables therein also illustrate that no other state has wiped out their Wild equines as has NM, or sued over the constitutionality of the 1971 Act.

[16] Sierra Club Feral:  https://www.sierraclub.org/policy/wildlife/feral-animals#:~:text=The%20Sierra%20Club%20calls%20for,native%20flora%2C%20fauna%20and%20soils.&text=The%20Sierra%20Club%20recognizes%20that,Ecological%20niches%20are%20dissimilar    

[17] High Country News – Sierra Club: Wild Horses: Do they Belong in the West? “feral animals” https://www.hcn.org/issues/125/3981

[18] APVNM stands for Animal Protection Voters which is the lobbyist arm of Animal Protection of New Mexico. These groups have done plenty of   good works for other animals, however appear to not be open about their stance on FREE ROAMING Wild Horses and one other related issue.

[19] White Board Video BAD BILL SB126 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg6ata_bvc8

[20] Independent Poll 86% of Placitans Pro-Free Roaming Wild Horses https://whoanm.org/wordpress/?p=275

[21] House Memorial HM93 https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/memorials/house/HM093.pdf

[22] 14th Amendment to the Constitution, NMSA 10-16-3: Ethical principles, US Code: Title 18 & more.

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