Hello TrapFree NM Friends,
Many of you are wondering just what happened last Tuesday in the Senate Conservation Committee hearing of SB 286, the bill to ban traps and poisons from public land. After impassioned testimony from the public, the senators on the committee discussed elements of the bill. Most of that discussion centered on technical questions about the penalties the bill would impose on violators, about which agency would enforce infractions and on which public lands the state has the ability to restrict traps. Then, rather than voting on the bill, the committee unexpectedly directed the sponsor to come up with a committee substitute bill that would address these questions. (You can watch a webcast of the entire hearing here.)
So in the end, no vote was taken. This means the bill is not dead. In fact, this is the first time in the history of this bill that a legislative committee actually discussed its provisions and did not table it!
Here is what you can do right now to further the bill's progress:
1. For constituents of Senate Conservation Committee members: If your senator serves on the Senate Conservation committee, please call his or her office to urge a hearing be scheduled for the Committee Substitute for SB 286, the bill to prohibit traps and poisons on public land. As always, be sure include in your message that you are a constituent.
- If you don't know who your senator is, find out here by entering your address.
- Check here for the list of Senators who serve on the Conservation Committee. Click on their name for their contact information. Calls are probably more effective but you can send an email too. Urge a new hearing for the Committee Substitute for SB 286.
2. For those of you who have had an experience with a trap, we think it appropriate that you tell your story to every senator on the committee above.
3. For everyone: Please thank the bill sponsor, Senator Pete Campos, for taking on the contentious issue of trapping. Urge him to not give up! Let him know you are one of the legions of New Mexicans all over the state who stand with him and are cheering him on to make our public lands more protective of wildlife and safe for the public by reining in trapping on our shared places. We recommend calling his office at 505-986-4311. But you can also email at email@example.com.
To everyone who got up early and who traveled long distances to wait for a seat in the hearing room, that moment when you raised your hands in support of the bill was remarkable and powerful. Those who testified bore witness for everyone who couldn't. Thank you!
Mary Katherine Ray