Santa Fe prairie dog

They shoot prairie dogs, don’t they?

Asked about the usefulness of AR-15s, Senator John Thune (R-SD) told CNN: “They are a sporting rifle. It’s something that a lot of people [use] for purposes of going out target shooting — in my state, they use them to shoot prairie dogs and, you know, other types of varmints.”

AR-15-style rifles are especially popular for wildlife-killing contests. As the Humane Society of the United States reports: “Texas appears to have more wildlife … Read full post

No Dogs or Mexicans

CDC: “No Dogs or Mexicans”

As COVID-19 reached the USA during the Trump Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) directed the Border Patrol to deny entry of immigrants from Mexico and Central America. CDC claimed to be acting under the authority of Title 42 of the 1944 Public Health Service Act, which authorizes the Public Health Service to suspend the “introduction of persons or goods” into the United States on public health grounds.

When Title 42 was … Read full post

Game Department will not protect wildlife

Some wildlife trapping in New Mexico will be technically illegal as of April 1. But it will be up to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF) to enforce the new state law, known as Roxy’s Law in memory of the dog who suffered a cruel death at the hands of a trapper. NMDGF, which opposed the passage of Roxy’s Law, “lost” the evidence needed to convict Roxy’s killer. There is no … Read full post

Rise Like Lions

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (officially abbreviated NMDGF, also known as “Maim and Squish”) is reviewing its policy on mountain lion hunting. Mountain lions, known to game managers as cougars and to biologists as pumas, are not legally classified as a federal endangered species, although California, which has already banned mountain lion trophy hunting, is considering classifying the species (Puma concolor) as a state endangered species. Trophy hunting is the greatest threat … Read full post

The Brutality of Aldo Leopold

US Forest Ranger Skinning Gray Wolf
One of the Most Important Phases of Federal Game Protection—U. S. Forest Ranger Skinning Gray Wolf

In the fall of 1909 Aldo Leopold notoriously killed wolves in the Apache National Forest in Arizona, acting in his official capacity as a hunter and trapper for the newly established U.S. Forest Service. Decades later, in his 1944 essay “Thinking like a Mountain,” he described the “green fire” he recalled seeing in the eyes of one of the … Read full post

Predator Killing is not Ethical

Predator-killing contests and killing Yellowstone wolves have become an embarrassment to self-styled “ethical” hunters who promote their North American Model of wildlife conservation. The Santa Fe New Mexican reported a “Record number of Mexican wolves found dead in 2018,” one notoriously dying at the hands of rancher Craig Thiessen. The Federal government, which otherwise has not been protecting wolves,at least managed to revoke Thiessen’s permit to run cows on public land.

State game departments … Read full post

Diverse but Delusional Democrats

The results of the 2018 midterms are finally in. Democrats are claiming not only victory but a “blue wave.” A diverse group of Democrats were elected as symbols of who they are, not necessarily what they will do (or would do if they could). But while Democrats achieved a symbolic victory in taking control of the House of Representatives, the unrepresentative Senate remains firmly under the control of Trump’s Republicans. As the upper house of … Read full post

Chief Justice Roger Taney

The Ghost of Roger Taney

In his 1857 ruling in the Dred Scott case, Chief Justice Roger Taney ruled that anyone of African descent, whether free or slave, could never be a citizen of the United States. It took the Civil War to create a sufficient majority in Congress and state legislatures to pass an amendment to overturn this decision. The Fourteenth Amendment established the legal right now known as birthright citizenship.

A century and a half later, Trump is … Read full post

Colorado is the missing link necessary to allow the wolf population to re-establish

Critical Care for the Mexican Wolf

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has proposed drastic reductions in wildlife protection. Proposed changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) would severely reduce protection for threatened species and their critical habitat. While Congress is considering various laws to weaken the ESA and to eliminate protection for gray wolves, Zinke’s plan would use his current legal authority to remove protection for threatened species.

Since the original ESA was passed in 1973, Congress has passed numerous laws … Read full post

Hunters demand access to national monuments

In an article published in the Santa Fe New Mexican and posted on nmpolitics.net Garrett VeneKlasen, executive director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, emphasizes the value of the Sabinoso wilderness as a site for hunting exotic African wildlife, namely Barbary sheep. Hunters’ organizations including NM Wildlife Federation and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, which counts Donald Trump, Jr, as a life member, misleadingly describe their campaign for increased hunting as “public access.” VeneKlassen, who … Read full post