Thank you, New Mexican, for your important editorial on the Trump administration’s anti-environmental attacks on the National Environmental Policy Act (“Bedrock environmental law under attack,” Our View, March 9).
This may well be the end for any meaningful protection to air/water, soil quality, remaining wildlife populations and seriously tackling the climate change crisis.
Your editorial has made it clear that nuclear waste and oil and gas expansions will have no limitations, as a strong NEPA disappears because of Trump’s dangerous penchant for “more bigger, better and faster,” which already has caused terrible environmental devastation.
The United States Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which exist to appease Big Agriculture and livestock lobbies, have been around under various names since the early 1900s, setting traps, poisons and encouraging massive wildlife slaughtering of wolves, coyotes and any other wild animals deemed a “livestock nuisance.”
Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in 2019 against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services for “failing to consider the environmental effects [under NEPA] of wildlife killing.” This lawsuit will be useless once NEPA is quickly dismantled.
On Jan. 3, more Mexican wolves were found dead in Arizona. Spoiled livestock industry lobbies continue to promote the slaughter of native wolves and coyotes, etc. NEPA offered some protections, especially related to Wildlife Services, the handmaiden of anti-wildlife protection. NEPA, under the Trump administration’s new rules, will now be meaningless for any civilized, scientific or humane considerations relating to local or federal lands.
Many of us who have been attending New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and State Game Commission meetings are familiar with the nonscientific, cruel and antiquated handling of New Mexico wildlife issues. We have learned firsthand that this agency only listens to its special interests of livestock ranching, trophy hunters and trappers. Presentations from this agency often are not factual; they are based upon questionable “statistics,” sourced from pro-killing/game management lobbies.
A 1983 New Mexico Department of Game & Fish report on mountain lion populations was never really brought to light by Game and Fish because the report stated that the “lion population had dropped sharply and that livestock ‘depredation’ [a ranching term] was infrequent and economically insignificant.”
A current mountain lion (puma) study is now available that also clearly shows that hunting/trapping of mountain lions is not necessary: doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0224638.
New Mexicans have spoken: A majority want wildlife killing stopped and native habitat preserved. They support the protection of coyotes, wolves, mountain lions, prairie dogs, bobcats and other remaining wild animals.
Without a strong pro-environmental National Environmental Policy Act, in conjunction with a modern, humane State Game Commission, our natural ecosystems will rapidly decline, along with an already declining bird and bee population.
As the young, brave climate activist Greta Thunberg says, “Your house is on fire.” What are we adults going to do to save it?