EPLUS is critical for working lands and wildlife. We are bringing people together to defend it.

We need to stand up together against foolish attempts to undermine New Mexico's successful private land elk hunt program.

The Western Landowners Alliance was built to stand up for landowners like you and support wildlife management policies that actually work to conserve wildlife while protecting private property rights and working lands’ ability to make a profit. That’s why we need you to join us.

The biggest threat to wildlife and hunting in the state is habitat lost to development. We know it has become harder and harder to make a living on a ranch in New Mexico. And we know EPLUS is a critical program that keeps ranches whole to provide habitat.

Landowners have to stand together on these issues. Can you join the fight today? 

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Landowners have to stand together to save EPLUS. The Western Landowners Alliance was created for that reason. Join us today!

Updates from New Mexico

New Mexico agencies: defining conservation key to 30×30

Defining what it means to conserve land and assessing existing conservation projects will be key to meeting New Mexico’s climate goals, state agency leaders said this week.

Sarah Cottrell Propst, secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, said the initiative builds on existing healthy soil projects, conservation easements and habitat restoration work.

“We want to preserve a role for natural working lands,” Cottrell Propst said.

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Appeals Court Dismisses “Product of the U.S.A.” Labeling Lawsuit

A federal appeals court has affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by cattle ranchers over the alleged mislabeling of beef as a “Product of the U.S.A.” The original lawsuit named Tyson Foods, Cargill Meat Solutions, JBS USA and National Beef Packing Co., with plaintiffs claiming the companies mislead consumers by labeling beef as “Product of the U.S.A.” when the cattle may have been born and raised in another country.

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Tiny New Mexico river fish deemed ‘endangered’ by feds despite State’s opposition

A rare river fish in northern New Mexico received the highest federal protections as an endangered species Monday, following legal actions from environmentalists and backlash from state agencies. 

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WLA’s statement on New Mexico Supreme Court ruling in stream certification case

On March 1st, The New Mexico Supreme Court held that the state’s stream certification rule is unconstitutional. The rule was intended to provide clarification for both landowners, the public and law enforcement officials as to rights of public access on specific stream segments. Without such clarification, disputes and conflicts will undoubtedly continue. WLA is disappointed in this initial ruling.

Many landowners, including those directly involved in this particular case, have played a leadership role in restoring streams and fisheries, and in conserving essential lands and habitats. Partnering with these landowners and ensuring their investments in sustaining fish and wildlife populations are protected should be the highest priority. WLA will continue to fight to defend the rights of landowners to conserve and steward the land, water and wildlife resources in their care. 

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NM Supreme Court throws out stream certification rule

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed that a Game Commission rule that allows landowners to restrict access to water that flowed through private property is unconstitutional. The ruling opens can of worms for landowners and anglers, and puts stream restoration projects on private lands at risk. “As a result of development, recreation and intensive agriculture, we continue to lose wildlife habitat and wildlife species at an alarming rate,” WLA said in a statement. “Yet people continue to demand more and more access to places where wildlife have traditionally sought refuge, including on private land.”

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NM cattle shooting hearing vacated

A hearing regarding the U.S. Forest Service’s (USFS) decision to shoot estray cattle in the New Mexico Gila National Forest was vacated Feb. 17 in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. The hearing was set for Feb. 22 and was brought on by the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA) and other industry groups with a lawsuit against the Feds.

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USFS sued for shooting estray cattle in NM

The New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association (NMCGA), along with the New Mexico Federal Lands Council and two cattle companies, filed suit Feb. 9 in federal district court for New Mexico against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for shooting estray cattle in the Gila National Forest.

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Oil Industry Could Help a Nearly-Extinct Bird in New Mexico

The Biden administration last year proposed listing the portion of the lesser prairie chicken population in eastern New Mexico and the southwest Texas Panhandle as endangered, which could be finalized this spring. That’s amplified an effort to give energy industries a trade-off: Work on conservation and repair of the bird’s habitat and, in exchange, gain protection from the liability of accidentally killing a potentially protected species during operations.

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Marijuana Bill Spurs Water Rights Debate in Arid New Mexico

Hispanic farmers and rural residents in New Mexico are concerned legislation that would allow small cannabis producers to boost their plant counts lacks a provision to ensure the producers have valid water rights.

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Conservation funding essential for state’s well-being

Opinion: It is absolutely critical to New Mexico’s future that significant conservation funding cross the finish line this legislative session. Intensive use has impacted the land’s capacity to support the watersheds upon which our economies depend. The state lacks capacity at almost every level, from resource management agencies to partners such as acequias, soil and water conservation districts, and restoration contractors. Along with increased funding for restoration projects, agency capacity must be expanded quickly, and our commitment to such objectives must be steadfast and long term.

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