Their recent advocacy has resulted in two big achievements:
New Mexico’s fish and game department has partnered with its peers in Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Kansas to negotiate a win-win-win agreement with the oil and gas industry to protect 1.5 million acres of habitat for the lesser prairie chicken. Exploration companies are able to drill in the area and the lesser prairie chicken will not go on the endangered species list.
The second accomplishment is one for the record books. Our members in New Mexico have been forceful and vocal advocates for Mexican gray wolf conservation efforts. They tout “Wolf Friendly Beef” raised by ranchers who employ predator friendly practices, and have led efforts for compensation to ranchers when livestock is taken by wolves. Today, after nearly being eradicated from the state, there are 85 Mexican gray wolves. In 2011, there were just 48!
Both of these successes resulted from common sense and market oriented approaches to conservation. When balance is introduced, stakeholders come out ahead no matter which side of the issue they represent.