USA: Big Success In New Mexico for Project Coyote.

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Dear Mark,

As I head to Rohnert Park, California this morning with several members of Project Coyote’s team to speak before the California Fish and Game Commission for protection of wolves and other wildlife from traps and night-hunting, I want to share with you New Mexico’s very favorable response to the premiere screenings of Project Coyote’s documentary film Unfair Game: Ending Wildlife Killing Contests. I also want to update you on our New Mexico coalition’s efforts to ban coyote killing contests statewide.

In early January, we showed the film and presented a panel discussion afterwards in Las Cruces, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe. Panelists included New Mexico State Senator Jeff Steinborn (sponsor of SB 268); Ray Powell, former New Mexico State Land Commissioner; Dan Flores, award-winning author of Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History; Kevin Bixby, Executive Director of Southwest Environmental Center—a coalition partner; Jessica Johnson, Chief Legislative Officer of Animal Protection New Mexico—a coalition partner; Dave Parsons, wildlife biologist and Project Coyote Science Advisory Board member; and myself.

We had a fabulous turnout in all three cities — standing room only in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. And Las Cruces is currently showing the documentary on the city’s cable television station, the Las Cruces Channel (38), for the next six weeks during the legislative session.

Because of the overwhelming interest that New Mexicans have shown in the film, we are hoping to provide additional showings in the state.

Check out our footage montage from the screenings here and watch the film trailer here.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27WttR5J5aw 

We’re thrilled to share that on January 30th, New Mexico Senator Senator Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces) and Senator Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque) reintroduced a senate bill in the State Legislature to ban coyote killing contests. Moores and Steinborn had previously passed legislation through the State Senate in 2015.

Like that bill, the current bill, SB 268, aims to put a stop to the dozens of organized competitions held annually in New Mexico, in which participants compete for prizes for killing the most coyotes over a certain time period. Often special prizes are given for killing the largest, smallest, youngest or largest coyote. Read more here.

Statewide media coverage, combined with our multi-city film screenings, has helped to increase public awareness across New Mexico; both the Santa Fe New Mexican and the Albuquerque Journal have published favorable editorials in support of banning coyote killing contests.

Our New Mexico team is actively engaged in this coalition effort. You can read a recent article quoting Project Coyote Science Advisory Board member and Albuquerque resident Dave Parsons about these issues here, as well as a recent Op Ed titled “Coyote-killing contests in the Land of Enchantment” in the Santa Fe New Mexican by Dave and Project Coyote Ambassador Dan Flores here. And you can watch Dave speak about wildlife killing contests in this short video.

Today, in conjunction with our coalition partners, Project Coyote’s New Mexico Representative Judy Paulsen and volunteers will take part in the Sierra Club’s Lands, Water and Wildlife Lobby Day 2017 at the New Mexico State Capital Building Rotunda in Santa Fe. There, we’ll be sharing our film and message with legislators and the public. Find out more here.

We will continue to update our supporters about SB 268; please share our action alert (read here) with anyone you know who resides in New Mexico who you think would find this issue of interest.

And please accept my deepest gratitude for your support of our work to bring to light the persecution that coyotes and other predators face. Without your support, none of our campaigns to press for science-based conservation, stewardship and humane approaches to living with predators and other wildlife would be possible.

For the Wild,

Camilla H. Fox
Founder & Executive Director

(Pictured here with Dave Parsons & NM Senator Steinborn at the Las Cruces film screening of Unfair Game: Ending Wildlife Killing Contests)

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