In July, Gov. Bill Richardson issued an order to halt such trapping in New Mexico’s part of federal forests where endangered Mexican gray wolves roam. “¦
Although the governor’s intent was clearly to ban all trapping in the area, the state Game and Fish Department chose not to ban coyote traps. Officials say state law doesn’t protect coyotes so it has no authority to ban their trapping.
Because traps don’t discriminate about what steps into their metal vises, the wolves remain at risk. In the last eight years, as many as nine Mexican gray wolves were trapped in the New Mexico part of the recovery area. Five lobos were injured.
Conservationists, who argue state laws give Game and Fish regulatory authority over both coyotes and trapping, are rightly outraged. Richardson has time to challenge this perversion of his order. Righting this is one act in his waning days that would make sense.
To read the full editorial, published in the Albuquerque Journal on November 18, 2010, and post a comment, click here. Non-subscribers can click on the Trial Access Pass button.