SWEC: No Wall Town Hall Makes a Loud Statement

September 8, 2017

No Wall Town Hall draws crowd, sends message

Approximately 200 people gathered recently near the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Sunland Park (NM) for a community town hall to send a clear message to Congress: don’t give President Trump one penny for his border agenda that will further destroy wildlife habitats and militarize borderland communities. Speaker after speaker delivered the same message: No boots, no beds, no wall! The event was organized by a coalition of groups including SWEC, ACLU-NM Center for Border Rights, Comunidades en Acción y de Fe (NM CAFÉ), and New Mexico Wildlife Federation in response to Trump’s budget request for the Department of Homeland Security, which includes billions for constructing the border wall, hiring more ICE and Border Patrol agents, and building more immigration detention facilities. Click here for more details and event photos. Read this article in Las Cruces Sun-News.

NM Legislators call for more protections for Mexican wolves

More than 20 New Mexico state legislators have called a new federal plan for Mexican wolves “flawed” and “politically driven,” and urged stronger protections for wolves, including doubling the number of wolves and allowing them to occupy habitats in northern NM where biologists say they have the best chance of survival. The legislators made their comments in a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) commenting on the agency’s draft Mexican wolf recovery plan. Their position was in marked contrast to that of Governor Susana Martinez, her appointed game commission, and NM’s Department of Game and Fish, all of whom want to restrict recovery to fewer wolves in a smaller area. Click here to learn more and read the letter.

NM legislators unhappy with proposed transfer of state park

Members of the interim committee on Water and Natural Resources grilled state agency heads for more than two hours at a hearing earlier this week in Silver City (NM) on the proposed transfer of the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park from one state agency to another. State Parks Division (SPD) says it lacks funding to operate the park and wants to turn it over to the Department of Game and Fish (DGF). SWEC’s executive director Kevin Bixby and Mesilla mayor Nora Barraza spoke against the transfer. (SWEC was instrumental in getting the park established. Click here to see our op-ed on NMPolitics.net about the transfer.) Legislators were concerned about how the park would be managed under DGF as well as the failure of the agencies to meaningfully engage the community about the transfer. They also questioned the legality of state agencies transferring property among themselves without legislative approval. The agencies announced that a second public meeting on the transfer was scheduled for October 1. Stay tuned for details.

Save the date!

Mark your calendar! SWEC’s annual gala will be held October 14, 2017 at 6:00 pm at the new plaza in downtown Las Cruces. This year we are celebrating 25 years of protecting wildlife and wild places in the Southwest! Join us for great food from local restaurants, beer and wine, live music, a silent auction and dancing under the stars. Click here for more info.

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