NEWS, DEC. 18:
"SOMETHING FISHY AT THE STATE GAME DEPARTMENT"
Thanks to its former director James Lane, profiled by Laura Paskus, the purpose of the Department of Game and Fish should now be clear to everyone. While not all directors openly deride "tree-huggin' hippies," they all have the same agenda. The department, sometimes known as "Maim and Squish," manages wildlife on behalf of hunters and ranchers.
Scott Bidegain, chairman of the Game Commission, which supervises the so-called professionals of the department, is a board member of New Mexico Cattlegrowers Association.
According to the latest  National Hunting Survey, only 6 percent of the US population hunts. When broken down by region, there has been a 45 percent drop over the last decade in the Mountain States from 11 percent. Correspondingly, the New Mexico report shows a 47 percent drop in expenditures by hunters.
Unfortunately, the major environmental and animal protection lobbies have signed onto the so-called North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, which promotes the myth that (legal) hunters are conservationists because they pay taxes which fund state game departments.
The tax on arms and ammunition was set up to reimburse states for the costs of restoring wildlife habitat open to hunters. We don't use cigarette tax money to promote smoking.
Why should we use taxes on guns and ammunition to promote a so-called "sport," which is declining in popularity?
SANTA FE, NM
It is about time. NM has become a joke to those who once loved the great wild and wild animals of the state. It seems that if you don't have a NRA membership you are considered vermin. The small mob of gun extremists and hunters are ruining the state. Get someone in that position that actually cares about every aspect of wild and all species of wild, not just those hunters who are addicted to killing for sport.
SANTA FE, NM
You have to be pretty stupid to air your private views about your job when your position is highly public and quasi-political. Buh-bye.
A coalition of New Mexico conservation organizations representing thousands of "tree huggin' hippies" have sent a letter urging the Game Commission to conduct a national search to find a director who respects science and will be responsive to all New Mexicans, not just those who hunt and fish. Read more on wildmesquite.org.
Just because Jim Lane is gone does not mean the department will do well. There are still many overpaid higher-level managers who have no management skills on how to run a department. They treat their employees extremely bad. Godspeed to the ones left behind. May they find new job where they are treated with dignity! The governor needs to investigate and realize these yahoos have been making up rules and policies to suit themselves.
NOT SO MUCH
I don't hunt or fish but have been to many Game Commission meetings. Commissioners and the department director have readily dismissed science, rebuked endangered species protection and rebuffed the public concern about the killing of too many carnivores and the placing of traps where everyone recreates. Their actions favor livestock and outfitting interests and they also talk a great deal about "hunter opportunity" and getting more and more people out there killing wildlife. But do they consider the general public who enjoys watching wildlife and recreating non-consumptively and to whom the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation also bestows ownership of wildlife? Not so much.
SANTA FE, NM
I'm from Kentucky. Evidently he was run off from Kentucky and now New Mexico. We sure don't want their rejects here. Send him to Afghanistan where he can't do any more damage.
YAWP BARBARIC, DEC. 18:
"AVOIDANCE AND CONFRONTATION"
What a pleasure it is to see Jon Davis' article on Dana Levin's poem. Santa Fe is blessed to have a poet of such distinction as Levin, who is able to take on issues we do not usually believe can be addressed in poems. She is both brave and dangerous, and Davis' analysis is equal to both.
SANTA FE, NM
HEART OF DILEMMA
I appreciate Davis' point that readers often find it difficult to distinguish what's been well-crafted in a poem, wondering what is intended or accidental, especially with regard to matters of structure as well as sonic elements (rhythms, rhymes and more). You're on the money when you show that the important matter is to note how well it works and not to worry about intent. That insight makes the same point as the old maxim: "The harder you practice, the luckier you get."
Dana Levin is a poet whose practice makes certain kinds of perfections we can repeatedly enjoy. What I particularly enjoy in the poem is that it so wonderfully evokes the exasperating mix of anger, self-righteousness and intrusiveness—often leading to oppression and even violence—that marks our contemporary history both nationally and internationally, especially regarding women's rights, as well as human rights. The issues are not simple, the morality is not always crystal clear, but there are always those who think they have a hold on the Absolute Truth, and they can be dangerous.
With care, in a subtle yet musically accomplished way, the poet speaks for all of us in our alternating currents of confrontation and evasion of such issues. The poem itself, however, does not let us off the hook or provide us with a simple answer, as even the ending, with its profound message that has the potential to partake of mystical and eternal truth (you are loved!), nevertheless echoes with severe ironies which leave us in the heart of dilemma, but the poem does not leave us abandoned; instead, we have been awakened.
SR. EDITOR, BLACKBIRD
7 DAYS, DEC. 18:
"DILAPIDATED BRIDGE HOLDS SIGNIFICANCE"
We [at Recursos de Santa Fe] were surprised to see we made your "7 Days." The Defouri Street Bridge is a sort of gateway into an old neighborhood, the scale of the bridge is pretty well suited to the narrow streets, and it is much nicer to walk on than the Guadalupe Bridge: But, if anybody wants a four lane bridge the Guadalupe is only a block away. The real argument is that sometimes, all the carefully crafted regulations miss the point. The bridge may have not met all the technical requirements to be historic, but thanks to the H-Board for recognizing that even dilapidated bridges are important, and that character is important. And that is what makes Santa Fe the City Different.
SANTA FE, NM
BLUE CORN, DEC. 11:
"HOP OFF THE BUS, GUS"
Robert Basler tells us that coming here is a conscious decision. That "nobody gets conked on the head in Indianapolis and wakes up here." Really? It happens all the time, Gus. "Indianapoli" Pollyannas come blowin' in on the idiot wind of their own preconceived enchantments and splat! High prices, few jobs. And it's not such a bad thing that there is a long, tough standard to be considered a local here. New Mexico is a long, tough place.
EL PRADO, NM
COVER STORY, DEC. 13:
As [the article] unwittingly shows, the City Watershed Plan of forest thinning is akin to destroying the village to save it. Detection of potential catastrophe must be complemented by tracing its origin.
Are we to see beauty in the mountains, or simply treat them as a utility? "Natural capital" is impossible in a world divorced from nature. "Proofing" everything, securing from danger, insuring against contingency; all are desperate reactions to crises largely self-incurred. Eliminating all combustibles; engineering concreted, treeless rainwater capture and powering filtration with hazardous fuels are fancies in the brains of "experts" and incompetent leaders who fail to attribute our woes to much of our own actions. It is human activity that has made so much vegetation "hazardous," real estate-dominated local bodies that have promoted Wildland Urban-Interface expansion, a USDA agency colluding with industry and propagating myths of "overgrown forests" that wants more resources from an ecosystem impacted by anthropogenic climate disruption is foolishly omitted from the discussion.
Management, in most forms is man's way of believing he can solve the problems he creates paints humanity yet further into a corner. Oppose the city's plan to destroy more forest.
SCOTT M SMITH
COVER STORY, NOV.13:
"COMING DOWN ON KEYSTONE"
New Mexico would benefit from non-approval of the Keystone Pipeline. Approval (for reasons that might be too complex to explain) is likely to depress the price New Mexico oil producers receive for their product and their rate of expansion, both of which would reduce revenues to the state, which in turn is bad for the many beneficiaries including education of the Land Grant and Severance Tax Permanent Funds.
SANTA FE, NM
SEXED, DEC. 4:
"ENDING THE RAPE CULTURE"
We already do teach men not to rape. This does nothing to stop the percentage of nut jobs out there who don't care. There are predators and you can't just teach them not to rape. I will teach my son not to rape. But I will also teach my daughters about self-awareness, common sense and to be careful in whom they place their trust.