Northern New Mexico rancher kills 39 pronghorn with a shotgun and ATV. By Jeff Jones. ABQJournal.com

Note this newspaper will let you read one article for free.

A 1997 New Mexico law allows ranchers to shoot “crop-threatening game.”

There is too much of this going on in the West, and it is time for a backlash against this. It’s not just wolves as they would have us believe. As I wrote before, the livestock industry has no use for wildlife, although individual ranchers may show some appreciation, not in this case.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

12 Responses to Northern New Mexico rancher kills 39 pronghorn with shotgun and ATV

  1. avatar Tim says:

    Subject: Wolves Near Mountain Home Idaho
    Way off topic but no way to contact the webmaster. Thought you guys would like to read a small article I found on the web.
    http://www.mountainhomenews.com/story/1324053.html

  2. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    This is a sick story. This guy refused free fencing because he didn’t want to have to maintain it into the future! This ought give folk an idea about the work-ethic involved with this custom and culture. some stewardship indeed !

    the big bad pronghorn threatening this guy’s pocket change – his way of life.

  3. avatar vicki says:

    Shooting them with a shot gun? He must’ve been blood thirsty of a really crappy shot.
    What a fraud!!!! He just wanted to shoot a bunch of pronghorns.

  4. avatar Monty says:

    This is another sad story of “living dry” in the fragil western landscapes where a rancher–like a desert tribeman in the Sudan, “must turn the goats lose” on the last remaining sprigs of grass in order to survive. Illusions & mirages sustain the western cattle operations.

  5. avatar Mike says:

    Wow, just when I think Ive heard it all this happens. There is a problem in the west and its the selfish people in the “livestock industry.” Something needs to be done, but what?

  6. avatar Debra K says:

    Livestock production in the west has a long history of harming pronghorns–mostly by the barbed wire fences that block pronghorn movement. For such a graceful, athletic animal, pronghorn have an achilles heel of not being willing to jump fences, but try to go under them and get trapped. Pronghorn also rely on forbs and grasses that cattle devour, so are direct competitors with cattle for forage, with the sometimes disastrous results shown by this livestock producer’s actions.

    I agree with Ralph that a “it is time for a backlash,” but the question is, what specifically can we do to make a difference, either in this specific case or overall? Some steps might include finding out if this rancher has public lands allotments, and if so, intensively monitoring them for potential violations of standards, to stop his cattle from eating “our grass,” or some concerted action against sellers of livestock producers’ products (e.g., McDonalds, Burger King). I know Ralph is tired of boycott suggestions, but until there is meaningful political change, I’m at a loss for other options.

  7. Debra K

    This law, and similar laws can be repealed. It sounds like New Mexico’s Governor Richardson might get behind a repeal if he is contacted by his constituents.

  8. avatar Maska says:

    There are some huge political obstacles to be overcome, if this law (which was passed as recently as 1997!) is to be repealed. Note that one of the proponents quoted in the article is State Senator Tim Jennings of Roswell. Jennings is, unfortunately, a powerful and well connected Democrat, and the current president pro tem of the NM Senate. He is also a major apologist for the livestock industry, and no friend of any wildlife, if they conflict with the scared cow.

    Publicity about these incidents is, of course, the first big step toward getting rid of the law. The article linked above was at the top of the front page of the print edition of the Journal.

  9. avatar Maska says:

    I meant the “sacred” cow, of course. Good thing I don’t have to type for a living. 🙂

  10. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    one of the sad things is that for all of the ill that this industry, this “custom and culture” does to the wild and wildlife, the coverage is always particular – in a way that i think spreads the story thin to the benefit of this “custom and culture” and to the detriment of wildlife. in its aggregate, there is no ‘balance’. with bison it’s one ‘balanced’ story, with bighorn another, wolves another, grayling and whitefish another, elk feedlots another, etc. etc. etc. a hundred balancing acts with the same marginal interest usually enjoying some absurd benefit of the doubt because of the myopic coverage of a particular situation at the cost of the greater public interest.

    i hope that at some point there will be national journalists with the integrity and courage to draw all of these particulars into a story that seriously and honestly critiques this one marginal activity against all of these environmental interests in their aggregate. should that context be afforded – it becomes pretty clear that the problem isn’t pronghorn, bison, wolves, sage grouse, bighorn, grayling, whitefish, pygmy rabbit, etc. etc.

  11. avatar C. Walton says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. The case above is the inevitable consequence of the ignorance I see in the majority of ranchers here in the southwest.

    I agree with your comments, Brian Ertz.

  12. Visit this website for more information and a way to help.

    http://www.nmwildlife.org/Depredation_Richardson.htm

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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