Saturday, January 22, 2005

Santa Fe New Mexican

Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico

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New Mexican (Newspaper) - January 22, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico Saturday January 22 2005 THE NEW MEXICAN A3 ATV Continued From Page Al as one that died in the final days of the legislative ses sion last year Gonzales said its common to see two or three kids at a time riding on ATVs He said accidents are common and bring real hardship to families John Hendry marketing director for the New Mexico Department of Tourism said there are perhaps ATVs in the state While state law already requires that they be registered he said only about of them are The proposed annual registration fee would bring in about million Hendry said The bill would establish a state board to set standards for ATV training and safety equipment Only once the teaming programs were in place would money from the registrations go to create the riding areas around the state he said David Trainer of Moriarty whose 15yearold daugh ter Terrah died in an ATV accident spoke in favor of helmet use Children get onto these machines with no train ing and no requirement for safety Trainer said Things can happen If my daughter had been made to wear a helmet she could be alive Joanne Spivak president of the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance said her group believes ATV use can draw tourists to the state She said many neigh boring states have developed offroadvehicle tourism Spivak said the safety issue with ATVs is clearly huge For children to be safe take the keys she said Theyre not toys The parents have to take the keys away The parents have to control the Dr Judith C Brillman a professor at The University of New Mexico School of Medicine said shes seen ATV injuries and deaths rise to epic proportions over her 16 years in emergency medi cine 1 dont want to have to tell another parent that their child is injured or dead from an ATV Brillman said She said threequarters of children and onehalf of adults who die from ATV related accidents die of head injuries Of adults ATV riders who die Brillman said SO percent are drivers and 20 percent passengers Of fatalities among children from ATVs she said 60 percent arc driv ers and 40 percent passen gers Passengers on ATVs who are children arc really just projectiles waiting to hap Brillman said Deputy Alan of the Dona Ana County Sher iffs Department teaches ATV safety classes He said almost every child he meets who lias ridden an ATV has been injured to some extent Im amazed the bill didnt pass last Franxoy said A bill that requires a kid to wear a helmet on an ATV just makes sense to Lunch Dinner 402 N Guadalupe 9849112 Come Taste the best New Mexican Cuisine in town Lunch Buffet Off Your Dinner with of S5 CM mtiif ififf pm with this if OIXA 416 Agua Fria 9885991 Bills seek tighter control of cougars wolves ByBENNEARY the New Mexican Cougars and wolves New Mexicos largest remaining predators would take a beat ing under bills introduced in the first week of the legisla tive session Cougars would be stripped of their status as game ani mals under HB 47 sponsored by Rep Brian Moore RClay ton Such a move would allow hunters to kill cougars year round without the need to buy hunting licenses Under cur rent law coyotes and rabbits are in unprotected status and are often shot on sight What were seeing in the northeast area of the state is that cougars are becoming a problem in terms of livestock and even in terms of the deer population and the antelope Moore said Moore said hes not inter ested in exterminating cou gars from the state The truth is that theyre so hard to hunt that very few of them are even he said The reclusive big cats are most commonly killed by hunters runningdog packs Moore said its rare even to see a cougar but when you do it would be nice to be able to protect your Moore said he wants the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish to monitor cougar populations as hunting increases under his bill What were really trying to do is find a balance and thats what can happen in some of these Moore said Marty Frentzel spokesman for the New Mexico Depart ment of Game and Fish said Friday that the agency was reviewing Moores legislation he had no comment on it Bill Huey of Tesuque for mer director of the Depart ment of Game and Fish said stripping protection from cougars also called mountain lions is not a good idea The lion is a noble creature and if protection went away they would be Huey said I cant imagine who might be damaged signifi cantly enough to want to take them off the protected In action late last year the state Game Commission voted to allow cougar hunting on several state wildlife areas where it has been banned Guy Riordan commission chairman pushed opening the wildlife areas saying he believes it would allow the deer population to increase The move was not suggested by the game department biolo gists Another bill SB 72 spon soredby Sen Steve Komadina make fed eral or state wildlife officials personally liable for criminal penalties if any of the wolves they release into the wild attack hurnans or livestock Frentzel of the game depart ment said Komadinas bill would be to make it extremely difficult for department officers to participate in the ongoing federal program to reestablish the Mexican wolf The wolfreintroduction program in the Gila country of southwestern New Mexico has generated controversy among area ranchers who say the wolves eat their livestock Many of the wolves have been found shot to death Komadina said Friday that he expects his bill has no chance of passing out of the first committee However Komadina said he introduced it to make the point that government must be held to the same standards of responsibility as private citizens I have no problem with wolves being Komadina said My concerns are that the people who are being given the responsibility to track them are not doing the Komadinas bill would require wildlife officers to take DNA samples from the wolves they release into the wild It would make it a crime punishable by fines and jail time for the officers if the ani mals they released went onto state or private land or if they attacked people pets or live stock on any land they were legally entitled to be on Komadina noted that private citizens are responsible when dogs escape a fenced yard and kill a child He said the government should likewise be responsible for the actions of wolves it releases into the wild Huey former director of the game department said he believes Komadinas bill has no chance of passing Its inap he said The indi vidual game department offi cers cant be given Komadina said he realizes it would be difficult for wildlife officers to keep track of the wolves they release But again when the pro gram started the public was assured that with the track ing collars and the pups being caught each year that they would do a good job of keep ing track of where they are Thats not Koma dina said Im not saying do away with the program Im just saying lets do it 96 9829663 Guadalupe at Manhattan next to Cardrageous 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