Wildlife Species Management
From grasslands to high-mountain national forest allotments and to irrigated farmland, land used for agricultural production in New Mexico supports a wide array of wildlife. With increasing public demand for outdoor recreation, federal, state, and private land managers are faced with a number of challenges directly related to wildlife management. One challenge is the growing number of species determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be “threatened” or “endangered” under the Endangered Species Act, which has the potential for widespread impact on agricultural land uses. NMDA works to identify ways to make species protection/recovery activities compatible with agricultural production and protection of water rights.
Managing the state’s abundant game species also presents challenges for agricultural producers. Elk, deer, and pronghorn antelope compete with livestock for resources; and when populations are not kept in balance with available forage resources, depredation can be devastating to a farmer’s annual crop production. Finally, managing populations of large predators (such as bears, mountain lions, and coyotes) is vitally important to livestock producers.
Responsibility for wildlife management and protection lies with a number of federal and state agencies, requiring cooperation to meet the needs and desires of different segments of society. NMDA actively participates in many interagency processes to ensure New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers are able to continue producing the food and fiber we all need to survive, while answering the challenges of managing wildlife throughout the state.
Cooperative Wildlife Services Program
State law authorizes NMDA to establish predator and rodent pest control  programs for the state. Implemented as a cooperative program under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these programs protect property and public health in rural and urban settings.