Protect Wolves from NM Maim and Squish

At its latest meeting the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission, not so affectionately known as Maim and Squish, voted against further reintroduction of Mexican wolves in New Mexico. This follows the previous month’s decision to expand mountain lion hunting and trapping. With leadership like Paul Kienzle, the Mountain States Legal Foundation’s vice chairman for litigation, and Elizabeth Ryan, a member of Safari Club International, the decisions by Maim and Squish did not surprise anyone, although some people may have been surprised by the lack of even a pretense of a public hearing.

Now it is up to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to take full control of the Mexican Wolf Recovery program. The failure of the federal government to protect public land in Nevada from rancher Cliven Bundy set a dangerous precedent for New Mexico. Catron County ranchers have resisted the Federal Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program from the beginning. In May last year the Otero County Cattle Growers Association and their parent organization New Mexico Cattle Growers Association held a rally to “protect our land from federal designation.” The federal government must be prepared to protect federal wildlife habitat in the face of armed resistance.

As a member of the American Lands Council, Otero County claims to speak for “ranchers, loggers, miners, hunters, trappers, fishermen, and energy producers across the West.” The American Lands Council was organized “to secure local control of western public lands by transferring federal public lands to willing states.” Their new Sagebrush Rebellion aims to return to the states rights guaranteed by the Constitution as it existed before the Civil War, when, according to their hero Cliven Bundy, slaves lived a good life.

Ranchers organized the original Sagebrush Rebellion in the 1970s in reaction to the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, which reorganized the BLM in order to insure “public lands be retained in Federal ownership.” Ronald Reagan campaigned as a supporter of the Sagebrush Rebellion, backing up his promise by appointing James Watt, founder of the anti-environmental Mountain States Legal Foundation, as his Secretary of the Interior. Under Watt, the Endangered Species Act was amended to include section 10(j), which empowers the Secretary of Interior to declare an endangered population “experimental and non-essential.”

By limiting the Mexican wolf program to zoo wolves and their progeny under the 10(j) experimental rule, USFWS has, from the beginning, made wolf reintroduction a difficult process. But while the 10(j) rule requires consultation with state game departments, it does not allow a state to nullify the continued reintroduction of federally listed Mexican wolves on federal public lands. USFWS needs to assert its authority, and should consider revising the rules governing the wolf reintroduction program in order to give full endangered species protection to the Mexican wolf.

The upcoming meeting of the Arizona and New Mexico Wildlife Society chapters will feature a panel with an American Lands Council board member examining “Who will manage the future of our public lands?” The Wildlife Society is the professional organization of the game department wildlife managers. Such conferences prove that game management is firmly rooted in politics, not in biology, ecology or any other science. There is no way to reform the New Mexico Game Commission. It is time to abolish it.

NM Game Commission: No “Game” for Wildlife

At the NM Game Commission hearing on August 27th, Opponents of increased mountain lion and bear killing outnumbered the hunters, trappers, ranchers, at least 4 to 1. Yet, while some of the environmental/animal groups were allowed to speak, many of us individual citizens were not. It was obvious to many that the commission was changing the rules to fit their biased needs. Not only are numerous ranchers & hunters on this commission, but there are 2 Safari Club International members as well.

Anyone surprised that the “vote” was unanimous in favor of more killing?

We cannot help wildlife by changing these game department’s names, or funding structure, or by continuing to accept their barbaric “game management policies” as something worthy of support.

Game agencies were started in the early 1900’s.  Aldo Leopold (a long-time wolf killer), literally wrote the textbook on game management. Yes, he was “sorry” for killing one wolf too many, but he was responsible for the atrocious model of today’s “modern game management” which views wild animals as “commodities and resources.”

Terms such as “harvest” and “game quotas” are designed to artificially maintain wild species for trophy/trapping–-keeping just enough of them for human exploitation/killing.

The NM Game Dept comes up with pseudo-statistics to rationalize their use of wildlife. Some so-called wildlife groups are collaborating with the enemies of wildlife – the hunting, trapping and livestock industries– to establish a so-called sustainable level of wildlife killing. The wildlife of New Mexico have enough to contend with, without wildlife organizations joining the killing machine.

The World Wildlife Living Planet Report says: “Populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles measured for the report have declined by 52 per cent since 1970; and freshwater species have suffered a 76 per cent decline – an average loss almost double that of land and marine species.”

We are developing a campaign against trophy hunting, and the state game departments which support it. More information will follow on this website.

The Last Rhodesian Politicians

The murder of Cecil in Zimbabwe has revealed to the world the true nature of trophy hunting.

Whatever feeble excuses hunters make about feeding their families or the homeless clearly has never applied to lion hunting. Who seriously thinks that Palmer planned to feed Cecil to his own family, or to poor Africans?

In accordance with the hunter-conservation ethic embodied in the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, Walter Palmer rationalized his kill as a way to protect wildlife. Originally devised during the administration of big-game hunter Theodore Roosevelt, and perfected by professional game managers like Aldo Leopold, the ethical hunter rationalization has spread around the world. Like state game departments in the USA, Zimbabwe sells hunting permits both to raise funds and to protect cattle ranches.

In the USA the model asserted that wildlife belongs to sovereign states, as a democratic alternative to the model of feudal Europe that limited hunting to the landed aristocracy. In Zimbabwe this model is rationalized as more democratic than system inherited from the old colonial Rhodesian regime.

In fact, of course, the vast majority of hunting permits are sold to great white hunters, largely from the USA, not to native Zimbabweans. The white American appreciation of the old colonial regime of Rhodesia continues among people like Dylann Roof, the presumed Charleston killer of African-American churchgoers. Roof, who was photographed displaying the flags of the former white colonial states of South Africa and Rhodesia along with the battle flag of the Confederacy, called his website “the last Rhodesian.”

A recent Jacobin article raised the question: “How on earth, one might ask, does a young kid in 2015 know or care about these receding historical moments? The answer is that for white supremacists, these sites of antiracist struggle register as profound losses. Although the South African case is better known, the 1965–1979 flag of Rhodesia is a symbol of a similar defeat, resonating with those like the suspected Charleston killer who subscribe to a paranoid, self-pitying ideology of white victimhood — an ideology that has more traditionally been symbolized by the Confederate battle flag, the ultimate emblem of white loss.”

One of the real-life last Rhodesian politicians is Allan Savory. Now known for his TED talk promoting ranching as the answer to climate change, Savory started his career as a game ranch biologist working for the white colonial government of what was then known as Rhodesia, now the independent nations of Zambia (where he worked at the time) and Zimbabwe (where he was born). In order to set up areas, misleadingly called national parks, for the benefit of great white hunters, Savory and his colleagues saw the need to “remove the hunting, drum-beating people to protect the animals.” This ultimately led to what Savory now calls “the saddest and greatest blunder of my life,” the killing of 40,000 elephants.

Savory applied his game tracking skills to establish the Tracker Combat Unit of the Rhodesian Special Air Service, and later went on to politics, attempting to save the white Rhodesian regime from itself by making a few concessions to the native African population. When his efforts to save white Rhodesia failed, he moved to New Mexico where he founded the Holistic Management Institute.

We now have a chance to protect lions in New Mexico. Unfortunately the true lions who once lived here were wiped out during the Sixth Mass Extinction when humans first arrived in the Americas. Now that we are in the midst of the Seventh Mass Extinction, it is time to protect remaining wildlife, including mountain lions. The professional killers of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish are now proposing to expand cougar hunting and trapping. As with African lions, no one can seriously claim to hunt cougars to feed their families, so the department game managers, who claim to be “biologists,” have been forced to admit that the purpose of their so-called research is to increase paid sport hunting opportunities and “Sport harvest is the primary tool used to regulate both ungulate and

cougar populations keeping predator-prey relationships in balance.”

While the game department staff works primarily for sport hunters, they face oversight by the political appointees of the Game Commission to insure that the interests of their fellow ranchers are taken into account. The Commission will be holding a public hearing to approve the department cougar rules on August 27 at 8:30 AM at Santa Fe Community College. Comments can be sent to

World’s oldest professions

As the June meeting of the New Mexico Game Commission approaches, the so-called wildlife biologists of Game and Fish have modified their proposal on cougar trapping. Facing widespread opposition from editorials and letters in the Santa Fe New Mexican and Albuquerque Journal, culminating in a rally at the state capitol, they dropped their proposal to set cougar traps on public land. The new proposal would allow unrestricted cougar trapping on private land, while increasing other forms of cougar hunting on public land.

The career game managers who fancy themselves “biologists,” continue to serve the interests of ranchers and trappers, while ignoring the need to protect wildlife populations. The department’s original proposal had nothing to do with biology or any other science, as it was dropped in the face of public opposition. The current proposal is hardly better. And they continue to kill cougars while the proposal is up for discussion. Last week they killed a cougar in a Raton neighborhood for allegedly attacking a puppy, and they continue to set out cougar traps in Los Alamos.

Nothing has changed in the year since Scott Bidegain was forced to resign his position as Game Commission Chair after promoting an illegal cougar hunt. As a member of the New Mexico Cattle Growers Association Board of Directors, Bidegain personified the close connection between the livestock industry and the Game Commission.

For that matter, nothing has changed since the Game Commission was first set up in 1921, about the time President Warren Harding appointed NM rancher and former US Senator Albert Fall as Secretary of the Interior. Fall made a career out of opening up public lands to the oil industry in the notorious Teapot Dome Scandal.

With the support of hunting and livestock interests, New Mexico established a Game Commission to maintain populations of huntable wildlife in accord with the principles of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation has aptly summed up the model as follows:

Man has hunted since he walked the Earth. Every early culture relied on hunting for survival. Through hunting, man forged a connection with the land and learned quickly that stewardship of the land went hand-in-hand with maintaining wildlife – and their own way of life.

In the first half of the 20th century, leaders like Theodore Roosevelt and Aldo Leopold shaped a set of ideals that came to be known as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. They articulated the philosophy that all wildlife belong to all of us.

It is useless in any case to look to science to set public policy. In a Wildlife Society article titled An Inadequate Construct, Dr. Michael P. Nelson challenges the tenet of the North American Model which “asserts that Science is the Proper Tool for Discharge of Wildlife Policy.” Nelson states: “This is mistaken for equating a desire for policies informed by science with science discharging or determining, by itself, what policies ought to be adopted—a serious, but very common, error in ethical reasoning. Scientific facts about nature cannot, by themselves, determine how we ought to relate to nature or which policies are most appropriate.”

By making a career out of serving their political masters, New Mexico’s professional game managers have combined the world’s two oldest professions. To borrow a term popularized by Sea Shepherd Captain Paul Watson, the game managers are aptly described as biostitutes.

The current drought, exacerbated by anthropogenic climate change, is likely to continue for decades, threatening wildlife habitat. All wildlife is threatened, including species not officially recognized as endangered. It is time for the State of New Mexico to repeal outdated laws which view predators as threats to livestock. It is time to abolish the Game Commission.

Thinking Beyond the Animal Factories to Save This Planet

Those out there who are concerned about this planet, the wildlife, the wild places, really need to understand how very destructive the Livestock Industry is, and not just for the factory farming aspects (as horrendous as they are).
Even many Vegans, who rightly abhor  what goes on in animal factories,  ignore, (or are unaware of), the plight of billions of native wild species in the U.S. and around the world. Wild species’ populations are in severe decline , some near extinction, due to livestock grazing on the last open, wild places.
Since the 1880’s the western livestock industry in the U.S., has been responsible for the slaughter of Billions (not millions) of coyotes, bears, wolves, prairie dogs, birds of prey, mountain lions, bobcats, beavers, ferrets, and other wild fauna and flora. This industry is also killing our rivers, streams,  forests, not to mention increasing the volatile gas, methane, that is a by-product of grazing, &  increasing global climate change.
So, while most people are now at least aware of the evil animal factories,  the horror of what goes on “out there” on the range– the vast expanses of our public lands– is hardly mentioned or thought about. It is crucial to also understand that western public lands–wilderness areas, BLM, National Forests, National Grasslands,  National Wildlife Refuges, and state lands–are becoming Domesticated Feed Lots because of the ranching industry. These public lands are the last refuge for wildness, in this Climate Change world!
 No matter how livestock grazing is packaged, it is an industry which is  removing what is wild and replacing it with  Domestication. Every so-called “wildlife problem” west of the Mississippi is really about The Livestock Industry, whether it be actual  grazing, or the raising of crops used for grazing domestic sheep and cattle. The western livestock interests are powerful, vocal, and determined to keep wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, wild horses, & thousands of other species “controlled/managed” with emphasis on aerial shooting, roundups, poisoning, trapping, hunts,  subsidized by taxpayers.
Now, some misguided animal groups, like IDA, and HSUS are falling for the PZP “birth control” method for horses, deer and other wild ungulates–which means more “taming” of the wild west.
What does this trend mean for the future of The Wild, when even so-called “animal people” start Sleeping with The Enemy?
 The great naturalist, professor, author, John A. Livingston, wrote, in Rogue Primate that: “to domesticate…is to amputate its wildness, to tame it; to train or otherwise coerce it into living with, and being of use, to us; to make it a part of our (human) infrastructure.”

We who care, still have a chance to save what is left of wildness, but we don’t have much time. Worse yet, the other living beings–wild non-humans-are fast running out of time.

Armed Agriculture

The current issue of New Mexico Stockman, the official publication of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, shows the close connection between hunting and public lands ranching. In an article titled “Hunting – Another Arm of Agriculture,” the executive director of the New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides describes the New Mexico Game and Fish Department’s E-plus and A-plus programs allowing ranchers to profit from elk and pronghorn (“antelope”) hunting, respectively. “While it’s not widely spoken of,” the article says, “for many in production agriculture, hunting revenues can mean the difference between staying on the land or moving to town.” The article cautions ranchers that this state giveaway technically only applies to the privately owned portion of a ranch, but, they acknowledge, “sometimes landowners agree to hunting arrangements that violate state and federal regulations.”

While hunting and ranching organizations are well aware of need to support each other, conservation organizations remain blissfully ignorant of the connection between the two. Some conservationists hope to “reform” game department by seeking out areas where there are minor disagreements between the livestock industry and their hunting comrades in arms. Others appeal to “ethical hunters” to oppose “unsportsmanlike” coyote hunting contests.

What sort of ethic promotes killing wild animals for pleasure? This is not a rhetorical question, as it has a clear answer. Conservationists who look to Aldo Leopold’s “land ethic” for guidance should be aware that Leopold literally wrote the book on Game Management. As a long-time hunter and government bureaucrat, Leopold defined wildlife as a resource to be managed for human use. Like his bosses at the U.S. Forest Service who managed forests for the benefit of the logging industry, Leopold sought to make hunting sustainable, i.e. to assure that future generations would be able to enjoy killing animals.

We should heed the final words of advice in the New Mexico Stockman article: “It’s time we realize hunting is really just an extension of the agricultural industry and vice versa.”

Individual Solutions Cannot End Institutionalized Atrocities


We are continually exhorted to boycott this product or that, urged to refrain from lending financial support to one company or another, warned to vote with our dollars, or our pounds sterling, or our euros.

I, myself, have asked others to participate in boycotts. And like others, I have seen our efforts sputter and fail.

We are trying to impact systemic problems by acting individually.

We individually become vegan. We individually avoid products tested on animals or are made by child laborers. We individually refrain from traveling to ag-gag states or countries that practice bullfighting or consume dogs or permit female circumcision.

Yet all the horrors we are attempting to end are continuing despite our individual actions. We are vegan, but slaughter continues. We don’t buy L’Oreal, but they continue to torture animals. Walmart still buys goods from child labor factories. Koreans still eat dogs, Utah and Iowa still have ag-gag laws. Islamic lunatics still mutilate their little girls. Spain, Mexico, and France, et al, still have bullfighting.

Our failures suggest that the strategies don’t work or that we need to work harder at them. If only there were more of us working on this campaign or that one. If only we worked harder or longer or smarter, we would achieve our goals.

Sometimes we do. But those are the exceptions rather than the rule. The bigger our targeted enemy, the less likely we will prevail. And Big Agriculture, the architect of the greatest horror in recorded history, is as big an enemy as we have. And it is impossible to defeat Big Ag or to end the Animal Holocaust by individual action. Not just unlikely to defeat Big Agriculture, but actually 100% impossible.

The very same strategy was employed years before the Civil War to attempt to end human slavery. Abolitionists thought that by boycotting goods that were the produced using slave labor they could bring the slaveholding economies to their knees.

Didn’t work. Just as being vegan doesn’t work to end slaughter.

Abolitionists abandoned the boycott of goods and turned their efforts toward institutional solutions to the institutional problem of slavery, including political action; riots; promoting, authorizing, and funding the Civil War. The institution of government is the ultimate arbiter of institutional solutions.

We vegans would hardly return to consuming our fellow Earthlings, as veganism for us is a moral imperative. But as a tool to end the Animal Holocaust it is a completely ineffective exercise.

Instead of hoping to convince one consumer at a time of the cruelty of eating and wearing animals (the individual solution), we must adopt strategies to bring about institutional solutions to the institutionalized exploitation and murder of animals.

While the individual approach is preferable to doing-nothing-at-all, it actually neutralizes activists. Convinced that not eating meat or boycotting companies is a viable strategy, activists are taken out of the struggle by not engaging in tactics that could result in success, or some measure thereof.

Veganism, like the Abolitionists refraining from buying or using slavery-produced goods, is economically incapable of making an impact on the production of animal products.

The most obvious reason is that a growing population is demanding ever-increasing numbers of animal corpses. But even if the population were static or decreasing, animals will continue to be consumed so long as their murders are legal and government is disposed to allow implementation of the horror.

Removing oneself from the marketplace does not mean the marketplace disappears. Many of us refrain from buying or viewing pornography. But such conduct has absolutely no influence on persons who wish to view and purchase it, nor upon the producers who place pornography into the stream of commerce.

Similarly, refusing to eat meat does nothing except to cause Big Ag to divert the corpses one does not consume to other applications. Animals are not saved in the process. They don’t get set free or live out their lives in peace. They are still brutally murdered, but their corpses become animal feed, or are rendered for cosmetics, or are turned into fertilizer.

Every animal in the system is guaranteed to die a horrible, painful death, in terror as they await the knives and the bolt guns.

Just as every slave in bondage would continue to be a slave, whatever the purchasers or non-purchasers of the products of their labors did or did not do.

Only by disassembling the system did slavery end.

The fight to end the Animal Holocaust will require as much to succeed.

Animal activists must become radicalized and organized. We must act in as close to unison as possible. We must vote as a bloc. We must agitate as a solid wall of opposition to whatever horrors we confront. We must pursue strategies that will succeed, or have a reasonable chance of success. We must recruit. We must educate. And we must educate ourselves.

We must be revolutionaries, ready and willing to topple the fascist state when the opportunity arises.

Until then we must be a united, vehement, consistent and effective political force.

Our primary objective should be to defeat conservatives.

Any conservatives. For any office. Anywhere. And everywhere.

Conservatives are the mouthpieces for capitalism, the enablers of cruelty by Big Ag, Big Pharma, Big Oil, the chemical industry, the US military, puppy mills, zoos, and circuses.

Conservatives (all Republicans and many Democrats) are bribed by lobbyists working for their corporate bosses with cash they call “campaign contributions.” But which are nothing but legalized bribery, allowed by laws passed by those very same scumbag conservative politicians.

In vegan outreach, our goal should be to recruit comrades and radicals, not vegans. Being vegan is a wonderful statement, but it is not action. Being vegan will not change the world. Becoming a revolutionary might help change the world.

History will demonstrate that vegans did no more to end slaughter than the Abolitionist boycotters did to end slavery.

Hopefully, history will show that vegan revolutionaries sparked the political revolution that ended the Animal Holocaust. Just as the Abolitionists brought about the end of slavery.

Institutionalized horrors falling before institutionalized justice.

What’s Left for Wildlife

The recent rushed passage of the National Defense Authorization Act with numerous anti-environmental riders exposes the sham of representative democracy. The Public Lands Council correctly describes the overwhelming vote for NDAA as clear case of Congress siding with ranchers. The act overturned grazing regulations which have been in effect over 30 years. Valles Caldera in northern New Mexico became a livestock operation funded by the National Park Service. As Congress would not dare to question, let alone defeat, a military appropriation, passage of this bill was a forgone conclusion. While a few liberal senators such as independent Bernie Sanders voted against the bill, the overwhelming majority of Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren, supported the military funding. Anti-environmental riders were of no concern to them.

Does the Democratic Party’s loss of the U.S. Senate mean anything for wildlife? Democratic Party support for the Keystone XL pipeline was the key to a failed attempt to keep control this year. It was a Democrat, Senator Jon Tester of Montana, who pioneered the practice of using riders to “must-pass” legislation to reverse decades of endangered species protection. With no significant opposition, Tester removed protection for wolves in the Northern Rockies, encouraging the Federal government to follow suit for other wolf populations. A recent court decision has temporarily reinstated protection for wolves in the Great Lakes region, but it remains to be seen if this decision will withstand appeal.

The legislative process is a competition of special interest groups, primarily funded by the wealthiest 1%. Lobbyists write legislation in closed-door committee meetings, which Congress rubber stamps with no meaningful discussion. Without a background in radical critiques of society, wildlife supporters know only liberal politics. Environmental and animal protection organizations, once based on grass-roots activism, are now merely insignificant lobbying organizations, whose primary purpose is raising funds for their own professional staff. Liberals challenge the National Rifle Association on gun control issues, but don’t seem to be aware that the NRA’s positions reflect its nature as a hunting organization. By working with so-called “hunter-conservationists,” environmental lobbyists legitimize the NRA agenda.

If there is anything more threatening to life on this planet than climate change it is nuclear war. Of course, New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich, who has campaigned to increase hunting on Federal Lands, as well as supporting the Los Alamos nuclear lab, enthusiastically supported the military funding bill. It is particularly symbolic that the bill also included a national historic park commemorating the Manhattan Project, which launched the nuclear age. Perhaps we will someday see a national prehistoric park commemorating the discovery at Clovis of the weapons which launched the first anthropogenic mass extinction when humans arrived in the Americas during the Pleistocene.

The second anthropogenic mass extinction is now underway. In the latest Living Planet Index the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that over half of the population of wild vertebrates has disappeared in the last 40 years. Among the report’s conclusions: “The loss of habitat to make way for human land use – particularly for agriculture, urban development and energy production – continues to be a major threat to the terrestrial environment. When habitat loss and degradation is compounded by the added pressure of wildlife hunting, the impact on species can be devastating.”

International climate conferences are a sham, as debates focus only on how to raise money to help people adapt to inevitable climate change. There is no way to reverse climate change without drastically reducing the human population, an issue which liberal humanists ignore. The so-called radical left advocates “environmental justice” to help poor people adapt to climate change, while ignoring the destruction of wildlife habitat. Environmental justice for wildlife requires a movement to establish corridors to help wildlife adapt, as they once did when climate change occurred. Without a political left for wildlife there will be nothing at all left for wildlife.

The Myth of Wildlife Overpopulation

At a workshop at last month’s Animal Rights 2014 Conference, In Defense of Animals (IDA) described their efforts to reduce the deer population. Joining in this effort is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Statistics on wildlife regarded as “game species” generally come from data state game departments collect from hunters. They have a vested interest in pushing up the numbers to increase hunting opportunities. But even if we take their dubious figures as fact, HSUS cites the estimate of 30 million deer as “nearly the number when Europeans first arrived in North America.” An organization that has high regard for wildlife should welcome a wild species return to the numbers existing in preindustrial times. IDA and HSUS have focused instead on spaying and neutering wildlife populations. HSUS describes itself as “a leader in the emerging field of immunocontraception,” which it supports as a way “to control deer and wild horse populations across the United States and elephant populations in South Africa.”

The IDA-HSUS wildlife control plan is based on the work of Allen Rutberg, who has served as a senior scientist with HSUS. Along with IDA and HSUS, Rutberg supports contraception as an alternative to hunting, but he he also criticizes the whole idea that humans need to reduce wildlife populations. In his article Birth Control is Not for Everyone (a response), he wrote: “even using the crude first generation of immunocontraceptive vaccines, we have managed modest reductions in populations of suburban deer and barrier island horses. So you don’t necessarily need to kill animals to reduce wildlife populations (and their impacts). On a deeper level, though, focusing our frustration and enmity on ‘nuisance wildlife’ evades our own responsibility for creating these messes to begin with.”

Destruction of habitat is a threat to all wild animals, not just officially endangered species. Exotic domesticated species, including humans, cats, dogs, and cattle, have been overpopulating North America for centuries. To save the planet for wild species, we need to stop breeding domesticates.

Rebellion in Otero County

As the long-term drought continues, there will be more potential for confrontation between public lands ranchers and government officials charged with protecting forests, grasslands and wildlife. The failure of the federal government to enforce the law in Nevada sets a dangerous precedent for New Mexico. Catron County ranchers have long ignored wildlife laws. Now Otero County ranchers seem to be on the verge of actively resisting enforcement of grazing regulations.

The Otero County Cattle Growers Association and their parent organization New Mexico Cattle Growers Association are organizing a rally May 31 in the name of Like Cliven Bundy in Nevada, they claim a right to use public land without the need to follow government regulations.

As a member of the American Lands Council, Otero County claims to speak for “ranchers, loggers, miners, hunters, trappers, fishermen, and energy producers across the West.” Their new sagebrush rebellion aims to return to the states rights guaranteed by the Constitution as it existed before the Civil War, when, according to their hero Cliven Bundy, slaves lived a good life.