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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

NM Game Commission to decide hunting limits for mountain lion, bear

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Monday, October 23, 2023   

The number of mountain lions killed by New Mexico hunters in recent years has fallen below what the state allows, but wildlife advocates think a proposed limit for the next four years is too high.

The state game commission meets this week to approve a kill quota of 563 individual mountain lions per year.

Mary Katherine Ray, wildlife chair for the Rio Grande chapter of the Sierra Club, said because they are an elusive specifies, the number is too high, especially considering changing weather patterns have disrupted the historic balance of nature.

"It's hard to count them and there's a lot of uncertainty, so we need to be cautious," Ray asserted. "The proposals that the Game and Fish is making are not cautious."

The department's own count shows the number of mountain lions killed by hunters is roughly 350 per year, which means 10% of the state's estimated population is killed from known causes. The figure does not include those from natural causes, starvation, dehydration, disease, wildfires or attacks from bears and wolves.

New Mexico has suffered severe drought conditions the past two decades, and in 2022, the worst wildfire in state history. Ray pointed out those events caused habitat degradation and fragmentation for wildlife. She believes hunting quotas should be reduced by at least 50% before the species is placed at risk.

"I mean, we did wipe out wolves," Ray explained. "And in our changing world -- the climate's changing, all the fires we're having, the drought -- I don't know that we can rely on that without some care going into the future."

During the 2020-2021 New Mexico hunting season, 323 mountain lions were killed, compared to 424 the year before. The commission is also set to consider a recommendation on black bear quotas at its Friday meeting, increasing the total kills from 864 from the current 804.

Disclosure: The Sierra Club contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Energy Policy, Environment, and Environmental Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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