Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Public meetings to address access to state Wildlife Management Areas

Public meetings to address access to state Wildlife Management Areas SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will conduct four public meetings to outline proposed changes to the Gaining Access into Nature program for State Game Commission-owned Wildlife Management Areas. The program outlines the use of these Wildlife Management Areas for recreational activities other than, or in addition to, hunting, fishing and trapping, such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding. The proposed changes are intended to make it easier for the public to access and enjoy Commissioned-owned and managed properties. Department staff will conduct a short presentation, accept public comments and answer questions. The meetings will be at 6 p.m. at the following locations: • Abiquiu, March 28, Rio Arriba County Rural Event Center. • Taos, March 29, Taos County Agricultural Center. • Roswell, March 30, New Mexico Game and Fish office. • Silver City, March 31, Grant County Administration Building. The current recommendation from the Department is to manage designated properties as “open unless otherwise closed,” and to eliminate the need for a special GAIN permit. Access would be allowed for a group of up to four people, provided at least one of those individuals possesses a hunting, fishing, or trapping license and/or a Habitat Management and Access Validation permit. Current rules require every member in a group visiting a wildlife management area to possess a GAIN permit and/or a hunting, fishing or trapping license. Other proposed changes include increasing the camping limit to 14 days, allowing scouting activities for seven days before a hunt period, and updating specific access rules for certain properties. No license or permit is required for youths under 18 years old. Please visit www.wildlife.state.nm.us for more information about the proposed changes. The department is accepting email comments on the proposed changes at DGF-GAIN@state.nm.us.

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