Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

State's Elk 'Kill Permit' Program Stopped.(Final)

Byline: Jeff Jones Journal Staff Writer

Richardson Had Pushed for Move

The state Game and Fish Department on Friday suspended its "kill permit" system in which landowners who complained about crop damage from elk received permits to shoot them.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the move -- done at Gov. Bill Richardson's recommendation -- will actually bar ranchers from legally shooting animals that pose an immediate threat to their crops.

Suspending the kill permit program comes a month after a northern New Mexico ranch manager who maintained elk had been causing heavy damage to his hayfields gunned down 19 of the animals.

"The use of these permits has encouraged the wanton waste of the state's wildlife resources and resulted in the killing of elk for no cause," Richardson said in a Game and Fish news release. …

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