by Caren Cowan
While the shutdown of the federal government has been and is being criticized, there were some good things that came as a result. One of the most important ones, in the Southwest, is the push back of deadlines and hearings on the Mexican wolf proposals and hearings that are on the table.
The new date for the Albuquerque hearing is Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at the Embassy Suites. Registration is set for 5:00 p.m. with the hearing slated to begin at 6:00 p.m. YOU need to be there by 3:00 p.m. for a gathering to get primed for the hearing. Remember that NMCGA has member rates at the Fairfield at University and Menual and at theMarriott Pyramid North. The Embassy Suites also has great rooms that include breakfast and a social hour.
There has been an additional hearing scheduled for Pinetop, Arizona for 6:00 p.m. on December 3, 2013 at the Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260, Hon-Dah Conference Center, 777 Highway 260 (3 miles outside of Pinetop at the Junction of Hwy 260 and Hwy 73).
As we have learned the hard way over the decades, we cannot just say NO and expect to get our way. Nor can we stay home and expect someone else to speak up for us. If we have any chance of prevailing we must tell our own stories OURSELVES.
How does, or will, the wolf impact you, your family, your small business, your community? What is the economic impact? Is there a wildlife prey base for yet another large predator? Or, will your pets and your livestock be the only prey base available? What additional costs will occur on your ranch in addition to depredation losses? What is unique about the genetics of your livestock that cannot be replaced? In today’s market what is the value of your livestock?
Please answer these questions and others that you may have of your own to develop oral and written comments for submission. Asking questions of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is fruitless, another lesson learned. Agency personnel will only be listening and reading, at least that is the hope. They have no answers for us – and they haven’t ever.
The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA) will be providing these additional questions on the website (www.nmagriculture.org ), on our Facebook pages (NMCGA, New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association and New Mexico Stockman) and will be emailing them out as well. If you need questions mailed to you, just call the office at 505/247-0584. If you need additional assistance the office staff is there to help you.
Members of the New Mexico and Arizona Legislatures and numerous County Commissions and Board of Supervisors have become deeply involved in the wolf issue. Please take the time to thank these folks and make sure that they attend the hearings and speak on behalf of their constituents. If your legislator or commissioner/supervisor isn’t involved, contact them and get them involved.
At the end of this process please be able to look in the mirror with the confidence that you have done EVERYTHING you can do . . . and then some.
The New Deal
Scheduling for the Joint Stockmen’s Convention with some 22 committees and the need for high profile speakers to keep folks abreast of current issues is no easy trick. Some time ago NMCGA changed its’ committee structure in the By Laws to make most committees subcommittees that fall under broad committees. The idea was that at the Joint Stockmen’s Convention speakers could be clustered under Ag Policy, Natural Resources and Property Rights. After each General Session, the subcommittees that fall under each committee would then meet following each General Session.
At the conclusion of each General Session there will be POLICY ISSUE RESOLUTION SESSION that will work through the subcommittees in an attempt to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to address issues of concern.
Be sure to see the Convention Schedule to make sure you are in the right place at the right time! See you there.