The potential of non-extractive/non–exploitive wildlife viewing and photography are already huge revenue streams in New Mexico.
Shooting wildlife with cameras has far more sustainable financial potential than hunting or the egregious trapping—still legal in New Mexico.
Please consider that 99.9% of the state’s population is not actively engaged in licensed, legal trapping. Trapping has virtually no limits on killing fur-bearing species, and virtually no consequences for trapping/killing non-target species including companion animals, endangered species, or livestock. Legal trapping is virtually impossible to regulate with a very limited number of conservation officers, further complicated by a large percentage of those officers actually trapping themselves. Trappers pay no gross receipts taxes and no royalties for extracting a public resource—the state wildlife.
The economic future of New Mexico will be increasingly dependent upon tourism—as it is now. The total annual state trust lands grazing fees are a small fraction of the revenue generated by Indian Market.
As a resident who is part of a generation that has failed miserably being responsible for the environment, I offer my sincere apologies. I hope younger generations will learn from our mistakes and become better guardians and advocates for the environment.