New Mexico Governor Orders 6-Month Trapping Ban to Protect Mexican Gray Wolves

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson has ordered a six-month trapping ban in
the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area beginning Nov. 1. Richardson says the ban was put in place to “protect the Mexican
Gray Wolves that have been reintroduced to the New Mexico portion of
the Gila and Apache National Forests.”

Here’s more from the press release from Richardson’s office:

Governor Richardson directed the New Mexico Department of Game &
Fish to initiate the temporary trapping ban, while it conducts a study
on trapping to determine the level of risk to the Mexican Gray Wolf
associated with the various traps and snares.

“The indiscriminate traps and snares in the Recovery Area are harming
efforts to reintroduce the Mexican Gray Wolf to its native habitat,”
Governor Richardson. “I am ordering this temporary ban to protect the
wolves and increase the likelihood for the wolves to survive and

The release indicates that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s goal was to have at least 100
free-roaming Mexican Gray Wolves in the Recovery Area by 2005, but there are currently only 39 surviving in the

Richardson stated in the release that trapping and snaring are “negatively impacting” the Mexican Gray Wolves recovery progress:

“In the last eight years, in the Recovery Area located in New Mexico,
there have been six confirmed and three probable Mexican Gray Wolves
that have been trapped, five of which have sustained injuries from
traps or snares, including two Mexican Gray Wolves that had injuries
severe enough to result in leg amputations.”

After the risks of trapping are determined through the study, Richardson said the Department “shall then pursue appropriate regulations to allow
trapping within the Recovery Area only by use of traps and snares that
pose minimal risk of harm or injury to the Mexican Gray Wolf.”

The ban is being applauded by many conservation groups, but New Mexico trappers are understandably nervous about what the future might hold for them. I will post any information from the New Mexico Trappers Association as it is available.

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6 thoughts on “New Mexico Governor Orders 6-Month Trapping Ban to Protect Mexican Gray Wolves

  1. Governor Richardson does not know his butt from a hole in the ground and never has…This is just a ploy by the animal rights groups to ban all trapping. What endangered species will they use next and in which state??

  2. I was on vacation in NM in June and while attending a farmers market in Albuquerque, I encountered a group of anti-trappers who where soliciting names under the pretense of saving the wolf. As I spoke to them, not identifying myself as a trapper, and asking questions it became clear that their agenda was to ban trapping on public land. As I politely corrected numerous misstatements, including that trappers use posion, traps with teeth, etc. they started to become hostile. A group of people gathered as we discussed the benefits and their need to present their position in an honest, ethical manner. At one point one of the anti asked where I was from and when I replied Vermont, she told me trapping has been banned for years in New England. I told her that that was incorrect and she replied she was from Burlington VT and that she has repeatedly read how trapping has been banned. When I asked why trapping laws and regulations were outline in the Fish and Wildlife regulations each year, she walked away from me. The exchange which last about 15-20 minutes was culminated by an old man in the group yelling at me about how would I like my dog getting caught in a trap. I told him my dog has several times and offered to put my hand in the #2 long spring to set it off and show what affect it has. They didn’t like that at all. Trappers in NM and everywhere have a responsibility to confront anti trapper armed with accurate and factual knowledge in what ever form we are confronted with. Keep your cool, dont get upset, use facts, ask them where they obtained their information, ask them if they are more qualified than wildlife biologist to make decisions, etc. The point is that you should understand not just the aspect of catching furbears but your rights as a US citizen, the truths about trapping, the legal aspects, and not be afraid to discuss these in public. I hope that the NM governer has teh sense to consult the experts before moving forward. For NM trappers, their rights are theirs to lose unless that get infront of this battle.

  3. Well I believe if you are someone from outside of New Mexico want to stop or protect something such as animals then you must 1st be a resident of New Mexico to have a say so as to what we do here. Then it is your burden of proof to prove wrong doing on the others Part. As far as it goes for the wolf I have yet to see anyone doe anything about the HYbreds being raised illegaly out on Little Walnut Road in the Silver City Area they are illegal. Where is the Federal Government and State Game and Fish and the so CALLED people protecting the WOLF.I still have not found anyone or a website with the proof that the Wolf in the Gila or Blue Ridge are pure not hybreds. It all boils down to put them out and let them grow and let them be controlled by trappers and they will prosper because they will reproduce accordingly to mother natures ways. If you have anythning else e-mail me at

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