From Truchas TU Urgent Support for HOUSE BILL HB 188

Truchas TU gratz4 at
Wed Jan 25 14:01:07 MST 2006

The first hearing for HB 188 will come before the House Business Industry
Committee on Thursday, January 26, 2006 at 1:30 pm, room 309 in Round House -
State Capital. Please call and e-mail

Press conference Wednesday 1/25/06 at 11:30am in the roundhouse rotunda -
ground floor - please come and show your support.

Protocal: A list of committee members is at the bottom of this email.  If your
legislator is not one of the committee members call the Chair and Vice-chair
person on the committee. Refer to the House Business & Industry Committee list
for contact information. Tell them you want them to support HB 188.  We
recommend that you call and e-mail your House Representative and the Chairman
and Vise Chair.  To find your representative check here:

Action is Needed to Protect the Future of New Mexico’s Outdoor Heritage

HB 188 will help New Mexico capture the nearly $20 million in federal matching
funds for conservation that are lost each year due to a lack of state matching
funds. The House Joint Memorial 34 study indicates the due to limited funding,
New Mexico is only funding about 25% of its conservation projects.

HB 188 supports the future of hunting, fishing, and rural communities in New
Mexico. Funding will be allocated on a balanced and competitive basis among
wildlife habitat improvement, conservation easements to support working farms
and ranches, clean energy grants and support for hunting and fishing

Loss of Access to Hunting and Fishing Areas is the #1 Concern of New Mexico
sportsmen. A recent poll of licensed hunters and anglers revealed that the
loss of hunting and fishing grounds is the sportsman’s top concern in New
Mexico (NMWF poll, August 2004). HB 188 will help reverse the trend of
dwindling access by making funding available for the purchase of some key
hunting and fishing grounds or for the purchase of access across private land
 to landlocked public lands.

Many landowners want to keep the family farm or ranch in operation, but are
forced by economic circumstances to sell their land to development. Every year
40,000 acres of private lands and wildlife habitat are converted to
development in New Mexico-ten percent of which is prime agricultural ground.
No landowner should be forced-by a lack of economic options-to sell the family
farm or ranch and see it carved up into subdivisions. HB 188 strongly supports
conservation easements (also defined as the purchase of development rights),
which provides a way forward for landowners who want to keep their lands in

Wildlife and Outdoor Sports Are Vital to New Mexico’s Rural Economy

Hunting, Fishing and Wildlife-Watching Generate $1 Billion Each Year in Direct
Economy for New Mexico, and another $1 Billion is spent each year in New
Mexico on camping, hiking and other outdoor sports. Much of this $2 Billion
outdoor economy is essential to rural communities. Investing in this economic
asset simply makes sense. The New Mexico Land, Wildlife and Clean Energy Act
will make funds available to protect working lands, preserve access to key
hunting and fishing areas, and will provide money for wildlife habitat
improvements and trails  through competitive bidding.

Each year New Mexico loses approximately $20 million in federal matching funds
for conservation projects. By supporting the New Mexico Land, Water and Clean
Energy Act we are supporting the ability to capture these lost federal funds
which will benefit New Mexico’s farms, ranches, wildlife, hunters, anglers and
everyone who loves the great outdoors.

History & background

New Mexico is one of the few western states that does not have a
comprehensive, state-funded land and wildlife conservation program.   At
present, state agencies and conservation organizations must approach the
legislature every year for piecemeal, incremental funding for specific
projects.  To help remedy this situation, conservation organizations have
joined together as an ad hoc coalition to help create New Mexico’s first
dedicated funding for conservation (wildlife, conservation renewable clean

In 2004, the coalition was successful in passing House Joint Memorial 37,
which directed the Department of Game & Fish and the Energy, Minerals, and
Natural Resources Department to “conduct a study to investigate sustainable
alternative funding measures to protect New Mexico’s unique landscapes, open
spaces, recreation areas and wildlife habitats”.  The results of the study can
be found on the NM Game & Fish Dept. web site at:
<> (Funding Conservation for New

In 2005, the state legislature appropriated $5 million to begin a pilot land
and wildlife conservation program.  To date 29 applications totaling over $14
million have been received. Of the 29 applications,  14 projects are currently
being considered to be funded.

In the 2006 legislative session the coalition has introduced house bill (HB
188 - The Land, Wildlife and Clean Energy Conservation Act). HB188 will
provide permanent yearly funding for the several types of conservation
programs ( Refer to HB 188 - attached)   The source of the funding will be the
existing Oil and Gas Conservation Tax, which is a .19% tax on oil and gas
revenues produced in the state.  In the 2006 fiscal year it is slated to bring
in approximately $19 million to the state coffers.  At present, approximately
10% of the tax goes into the Oil and Gas Reclamation Fund (OGRF), with the
balance to the general fund.  This bill will direct approximately $10 million
per year into wildlife and renewable energy programs. For detailed outline on
HB 188 please review the attached fact sheets and actual bill language.

For more information Contact:
Oscar Simpson at 505-259-5766 cell or 505-345-0117
Jeremy Vesbach at 505-264-5500 cell or 505-299-5404



Fred Luna (D), Chair

Debbie A. Rodella (D), Vice Chair
DIST. 41
Rio Ariba, Sandoval,
debbie.rodella at

Hector H. Balderas (D)
DIST. 68
Colfax, Guadalupe, Mora, San Miguel. & Taos
hectorbalderas at

Jose A. Campos (D)
Dist. 63
De Baca, Curry, Guadalupe, & Roosevelt
Josephs at

George J. Hanosh (D)
Dist. 6
Cibola & McKinley

Ted Hobbs (R)
Dist. 20

Dona G. Irwin (D)
Dist. 32

Terry T. Marquardt (R)
Dist. 53
Dona Ana & Otero
terry.marquardt at

Jane E. Powdrell-Culbert (R)
Dist. 44
jpandp at

Thomas C. Taylor (R)
Dist. 1
San Juan
tom at

Jim R. Trujillo (D)
Dist. 45
Santa Fe
jimtrujillo at

Richard D. Vigil (D)
Dist. 70
San Miguel & Torrance

To find your representative check here:

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