ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – After being told to stay out of a piece of State Trust Land, waterfowl hunters took their concerns to a community meeting Thursday night. But they didn’t get the response they hoped for.
“The decision was made before it was even broadcasted to anybody. So then at the point, we didn’t even really have a chance to actually have a chance to go out and say your opinion,” a hunter said.
Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard has now chosen to restrict hunting there after she says, neighbors complained about safety. Some hunters, meanwhile, think the Land Commissioner should have done more public outreach before making her decision.
However, at Thursday night’s community meeting, assistant land commissioners said it’s too late.
“How did their voices get elevated above the other voices who use this land?” hunter Tammy Bone said.
“We’re here to listen, but to also reiterate this decision has been made. This decision is going to stand, and it is the land commissioner’s authority to do this,” Assistant Commissioner of Communications Angie Poss said.
The Land Commissioner herself did not attend the meeting. Instead, hunters were told they could fill out public comment cards and take her assistant’s card to schedule phone calls.