Sierra Club responds to land commissioner’s ban on killing contests

Garcia Richard’s decision is a victory for sound wildlife management

For immediate release: Jan. 10, 2019   Contact: Mary Katherine Ray, Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife chair, 575-772-5655, mkrscrim@gmail.com

On Thursday, New Mexico Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard announced a ban on cruel coyote-killing contests on the 9.5 million acres of state trust land. The ban also applies to other non-protected species.

“We applaud Land Commissioner Garcia Richard’s announcement prohibiting the competitive killing of our state’s wildlife on state trust land,” said Sierra Club Rio Grande Chapter Wildlife Chair Mary Katherine Ray. “These organized wildlife massacres do not meet any modern principle of scientific wildlife management.”

Contest participants’ claim they are controlling populations are not evidence-based: Biologists have found killing large numbers of coyotes crashes a population for the current season, but coyotes respond by having bigger litters.

“The research is clear; killing coyotes at random does not Increase game populations like deer, nor does it reduce conflict with humans,” Ray said. “Exploitation of coyote populations and the disruption of their social structure will result in more young and inexperienced members more likely to consider livestock as prey.”

The Rio Grande Chapter will support bipartisan legislation to ban organized killing contests in New Mexico at the 2019 New Mexico legislative session, which starts next week. The legislation passed the Senate in 2017 but did not get a vote on the House floor.

“It is not easy to define obscenity, but as a Supreme Court justice once noted, we know it when we see it. Killing contests are obscene,” Ray said.

Sierra Club responds to land commissioner’s ban on killing contests