Friday, September 7, 2012

Lawsuit Overview: New Mexico~Mexican Wolf

The original text or post has been edited for clarity, to add in amicus briefs & refrences to the dozen or more interveners'.  This topic will be updated as new items become available so check back often.

 This case is probably the most important wildlife case in decades. The final judges decision will determine if other states will allow experiential animal populations research and reintroduction with-in their borders.

You ask why this is? It so happens that a state will not want to participate in a program where the federal government has control over states wildlife populations. At what point does the federal control and money derived from the feds to the state become a burden?

As an example:
If the Feds give the state 1.5m$ towards wildlife restoration and an outside force files suit against the state for not following the guidelines...AND it now cost the state 2.5m$ to defend against this action.

Why in the hell would anyone state wildlife agency want to participate in a program? Especially when some lawyer puffed up non-wildlife animal rights group with no hands on dealings with animals is waiting outside like a vulture on a road side gut pile to make a name and collect the peoples cash.

That is not a win for the wildlife, it is an ego trip & paid lunch for the animal rights groups.

That's how I see it~How about you?


Wolf Event meeting

Before you start to read I want you to take a minuet a look at the  map of "Mexican wolf geographic boundaries", boundaries that  cut 60%+ swath of land out of the center of New Mexico and Arizona. Burn that area in your mind. As you read ask yourself how any animal based consumptive industry, be it commercial cattle or hobby hunters* are to survive under more restrictive laws in 2 states that already have large portions of the land owned and controlled by the Federal Government?
*Hunter's includes but not limited to trappers,outfitters,fishermen.

Radio collar range as of March 2012

When your finish read this news Please watch the video from a group of California Sheriff's who are tired of the Federal government ruling on locals on land use. VIDEO  New Mexico Trappers association attorney Karen Budd-Falen speaks.

FYI: Again, this is a working document and their may be court documents posted out of order.



I don't know what you want me to say. I just checked in here and find that the "Devil" is causing me more work ...remember what they say about payback.

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Lawsuit Overview:

The Center for Biological Diversity and Wild Earth Guardians (WEG) filed a 60 day notice of intent to sue about this time last year (2011). Nothing happened until February of 2012.

WEG filed their complaint and then OUT OF ORDER on April 6th 2012, (according to court protocol); filed their motion for summary judgment prior to NM's response to the complaint. This irregular filing screwed up the works relative to the normal "flow" of the case.

NM Game and Fish filed their response to the original complaint- their motion for dismissal with prejudice. This filing was joined by the to date by the 9 state & New Mexico coalition interveners (NMTA-signature drafted by our attorneys Budd-Falen & joined by our coalition members).

The interveners and state on May 7th 2012 filed responses to WEG's motion for summary judgment. NM Trappers opposition to plaintifs motion

WEG responded to NM motion for dismissal and asked that it be converted to a motion for summary judgment. NM and the interveners responded and opposed this. (NM left open their option to file a motion for Summary Judgment).

Safari Club International filed an amicus brief in favor of the state and interveners. WEG objected to SCI's participation. The dozen or more interveners stood in support of SCI

WEG submitted evidence, again out of order, and are trying to get more evidence submitted now. NM and the interveners filed objections to the submission of evidence.

About now all the motions, re-motions and SurReply motions (an additional response above and beyond the normal response structure) were submitted and the judge did his thing.

The Judge disallowed SCI because it was a redundant filing.

The judge ask NM to file their motion for Summary Judgment and gave them 45 days which puts this deadline into Sept. 2012

The judge ruled against the additional evidence WEG submitted.

Once the state files its motion for Summary Judgment there will be another round of back and forth's between the parties, after which the judge will rule.


The courts could do a number of things ranging from granting the Dismissal or one of the motions for Summary Judgments to beginning the discovery process and scheduling oral arguments.

The basis of the lawsuit is the Endangered Species Act. WEG says the wolves are endangered the government has them as a "10-J" population- Experimental and Non-essential. WEG is attempting to blur this distinction with the public and the courts. If WEG prevails in this case they will dramatically affect wildlife management. For example, states will be very reluctant to engage in any new 10-J type programs and may opt out of programs that they have already signed to...

As a real life example the New Mexico Fish & Game removed itself entirely from the Mexican wolf recovery program. In this same scenario trapping will be lost or severely curtailed in NM. Read story here

New Mexico Dept. Game & Fish

For the biggest part of the last decade the NMTA has been working diligently to develop relationships with our wildlife managers, legislators and other NM, national and international consumptive use NGO's. We have been, for some time, seeing these efforts pay off...we don't lose trapping privileges we gain and strengthen them, the facts speak for themselves. The NMTA, both as a stand-alone organization and in conjunction with the NM Sportsman and Landowners Coalition (NMTA is a charter member of this group) has a seat of significance at the table of wildlife management in NM.

Now we are realizing the full significance of the days of meetings, shows and events; the 1000's of miles traveled; hours on the phone and computer and all the associated prep-time.

We have a Director of Game and Fish that is and will continue to move NM forward.
We supported his appointment with great vigor.
We have a balanced, proactive Game Commission with an outstanding chairman who stand with their director.
We supported the appointments of the commissioners; in fact we, nominated two seated members.

Our governor ran on a ticket supportive of traditional NM life styles. She remembered those campaign promises and is making good on them...she stands in full support of the director and commission on this court battle to turn back WEG and say "NOT IN NM" to all animal rights groups who seek to disembowel consumptive use of our state's resources and end our outdoor heritage.

Some say this is a "perfect storm" and we ARE the eye of the storm. Hubris is dangerous in any "game"! However, the facts still remain, for the first time that I know, a director, commission and governor have aligned and thrown the full force and resources of the department into an ESA based fight dealing with these types of issues; make no mistake this fight is all about ending trapping in NM.

As the article indicates NM has spent well over $200K and they have hired the D.C. Law firm of Kelly Drye and Warren (KDW is an international firm with over 400 attorneys in the USA alone). Many who read this should recognize this firm, for they have decades of experience defending and representing the fur-trade in the US and to a lesser extent internationally.

Also, as the article & court documents indicate, the NM Cattle Growers, Wool Growers, Federal Lands Council, Guides and Outfitters, NM- AZ Coalition of Counties..., Farm and Live Stock Bureau and NM Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, Arizona Fish & Game(amicus brief) have joined with the NM Trappers Association as interveners in support of the department and commission.
The remaining members of our coalition stand in full support of the intervention but for various reasons did not sign on as interveners. They do however, lend financial support. As is the case in these situations the New Mexico trappers association could use help in the way of donations.

 I Thomas McDowell, as NMTA President am the CEO of the corporation and Chairmen of the BOD; I speak for the BOD. We do not conduct business on Internet trapping forums; the reasons for this should be immediately apparent, if not God help you. What I have written above is for informational purposes only; it is not for dispute or conjecture or meant to cajole or coerce. As trappers we need to be informed and aware of actions that threaten our existence. With knowledge comes power. I trust that those who watch these happenings unfurl will learn from our successes and failings and thusly be better able to defend our heritage against current and future assaults.

To date the New Mexico trappers have funded this fight from within NM. The NMTA continuously prepares for the next battle. As interveners, we have spent a significant portion of our "war chest". Over the last few years we raised these funds from NM trappers and friends for this purpose.
No one should assume us to be aloof or too proud to ask for help (help is always welcome). So far we are managing to shoulder our load. If this goes forward to discovery and oral arguments all bets are off as to what will happen.

On a personal note, I could not be more proud to represent my BOD, for they are working diligently to find our way to a successful resolution of this matter. Likewise Director Jim Lane, Chairman Jim McClintic and Governor Suzanna Martinez are remarkable and a triad with which to be reckoned. NM trappers, acting through the NMTA and in conjunction with our coalition members influenced the seating of our leaders; of this I am proud. I am also thankful / proud of our many friends in the U.S. fur trade and coalition members. About all that is left is to write checks and see how the judge rules.

We've done our "home work" and continue to get the "word" out to the public and legislators on trapping and raise funds necessary for this fight and the fight to save public land trapping promised by Trap Free New Mexico in our legislature this upcoming session.

Dr. Thomas McDowell
President NMTA
Chairman NMTA Legislative Action Committee

 New Mexico Trappers Association
P.O. Box 15534
Rio Rancho, NM 87174

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Additional Reading:

 New Mexico AG  Bert Ancell

Young Family held hostage

1 comment:

BlackPowderBill said...

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