Wildlife Species Management
Land used for agricultural production in New Mexico supports a wide array of wildlife. These range from grasslands to high-mountain national forest allotments and to irrigated farmland. There’s increasing public demand for outdoor recreation, federal, state, and private land. Managers are faced with a number of challenges directly related to wildlife management. Challenges include the increase in species determined by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to be “threatened” or “endangered”. These classifications are 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. When populations are not kept in balance with resources, depredation can devastate 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. This requires cooperation to meet the needs and desires of different segments of society. NMDA actively participates in many interagency processes. This ensures New Mexico’s farmers and ranchers are able to continue producing. All this, 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. This is 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.