Legislation needed to prohibit traps on public lands

January 8, 2019

Dave Clark was finishing a hike with his dog, Roxy, in northern New Mexico when he heard a strange sound behind him. He turned to find Roxy struggling in a neck snare trap. Unable to loosen the snare before his beloved companion strangled to death in the trap, Mr. Clark carried Roxy’s lifeless body back to his vehicle, along the way passing a bobcat caught in yet another trap (the cat was in such bad shape that a law enforcement officer later euthanized it).

Horrible stories like these aren’t uncommon in New Mexico, where hidden traps litter public lands and even New Mexico Game and Fish doesn’t know the location or number of traps that are set. Legislation to prohibit traps, snares, and poisons on public lands is badly needed—and this legislation (“The New Mexico Wildlife Protection and Public Safety Act”) is planned to be reintroduced during the upcoming 2019 state legislative session, sponsored by Representative Bobby Gonzales (D-Taos) and Representative Matthew McQueen (D-Galisteo). To honor Roxy’s memory, the TrapFree New Mexico coalition, of which Guardians is a member, is calling the legislation “Roxy’s Law.”

“Until public lands—the lands that New Mexicans prize for their beauty and accessibility—are free from dangerous and lethal traps, we have a huge issue in this state,” said Chris Smith, Guardians’ southern Rockies wildlife advocate. “These incidents continue to pile up and our leaders need to act.”

For more on Roxy and background on public lands trapping in New Mexico, read the press release.

Hikers—report any trapping incidents at TrapFree New Mexico’s website.

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