The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has scheduled statewide Habitat Stamp Citizens Advisory Committee meetings for 2012. Citizen advisors will prioritize habitat projects for 2013 and 2014 and make their recommendations to the State Game Commission. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend meetings:
- Northwest: 10 a.m. April 21, U.S. Forest Service office, 664 East Broadway, Bloomfield.
- Southwest: 9 a.m. April 25, Gila National Forest office, 3005 E. Camino Del Bosque, Silver City.
- Southwest: 9 a.m. April 26, Las Cruces BLM office, 1800 Marquess St., Las Cruces.
- Southeast: 10 a.m. April 28, Roswell BLM office, 2909 W. Second St., Roswell.
The Habitat Stamp program has an annual budget of $800,000 with the support of hunters and anglers, who must purchase a $5 Habitat Stamp each year to participate in their sports on Bureau of Land Management or U.S. Forest Service lands.
In the 26-year life of the program, $38 million has funded 2,128 wildlife habitat projects. In this effort, the Habitat Stamp Program has contributed $17.2 million and federal agencies have spent an additional $18.2 million in matching funds in the form of cash, costs of planning, fiscal tracking, developing NEPA documentation, and obtaining archeological/cultural clearances. Since 1999, other organizations have contributed $2.4 million in time and cash to this effort.
The New Mexico Habitat Stamp Program has improved more than 777,000 acres of habitat on public lands. Additionally, the program has enhanced 11,000 acres of riparian habitat, built 749 places for wildlife to drink water, surveyed 708 wildlife populations and habitats, transplanted wildlife 17 times, improved 84 fishing areas, maintained 7,900 previously built structures, and much more.
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.
For more information about the Habitat Stamp Program, please contact Dale Hall, (505) 222-4725 or check the Department’s website, www.wildlife.state.nm.us/conservation/habitat_stamp_program/index.htm.