The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has scheduled statewide Habitat Stamp Citizens Advisory Committee meetings for 2013. Citizen advisors will prioritize habitat projects for 2014 and 2015. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend meetings:
Southwest: 9 a.m. April 9, Gila National Forest office, 3005 E. Camino Del Bosque, Silver City.
Southwest: 9 a.m. April 10, Las Cruces BLM office, 1800 Marquess St., Las Cruces.
Southeast: 10 a.m. April 27, U.S. Forest Service office, 4 Lost Lodge Road, Cloudcroft.
Northeast: 1 p.m. April 30, Santa Fe National Forest office, 11 Forest Lane, Santa Fe.
Central: 1 p.m. May 1, Socorro BLM office, 901 South Highway 85, Socorro.
Northwest: 1 p.m. May 4, U.S. Forest Service office, 664 East Broadway, Bloomfield.
Since its inception, citizens have been involved in every aspect of the program, advising which habitats are most in need of improvement. Appointed by the State Game Commission, citizens representing sporting, environmental, and public-land permittee interests meet each spring to prioritize local habitat projects.
The Habitat Stamp Program has an annual budget of $740,000 with the support of hunters, anglers and trappers who purchase a $5 stamp each year to participate in their sports on Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Forest Service lands.
In the 27-year life of the program, 2,179 wildlife habitat projects have been funded at more than $40 million. In that effort, the program has contributed $17.9 million and federal agencies have spent $19.5 million in matching funds in cash, planning costs, fiscal tracking, documenting, and obtaining archeological and cultural clearances. Since it first was tracked in 1999, other organizational contributions have contributed $2.7 million in time and cash.
During its life, the Habitat Stamp Program has improved more than 793,505 acres of habitat, enhanced more than 11,000 acres of riparian habitat, built 760 places for wildlife to obtain water, completed 710 wildlife population and habitat surveys, completed 17 transplants of bison, pronghorn, and turkey, improved 86 fishing areas, maintained previously built structures 8,529 times, installed 805 erosion control structures, reduced human impacts on wildlife, improved enjoyment of wildlife, and much more.
For more information about the Habitat Stamp Program, please contact Dale Hall, (505) 222-4725.