by Stephen Capra
Politics must be the Karma for trying to allow wildlife simply to live. Across our nation Game and Fish departments are at war with wildlife, for reasons that at times I suspect, even they are not sure about. In New Mexico, there is a war going on and wildlife is losing, and if you are looking for the general, who is ensuring this war, then look no further than the head of the State Game Commission, Paul Kiezle III, perhaps the brightest mind on this otherwise dimwitted commission.
For more than two years, we have been sounding the alarm about this commission and its goals. The reason is simple; Kienzle is no one’s fool. He is a lawyer by training and a true believer in destroying the environment for private gain. He cut his teeth working at the radical Mountain States Legal Foundation in Denver. You may remember that organization; it is the breeding ground for the Interior Secretary positions under Republican Administrations: Reagan chose Jim Watt, and Bush Jr. made Gale Norton his choice; both had made their mark at Mountain States legal, thus Kienzle comes from that particular pedigree.
Besides being a regular contributor to republican candidates (a key element to being on the commission,) Kienzle is a fighter for those who want to destroy the entire concept of public lands. In 2004, it was Kienzle that represented rancher Kit Laney, who had famously defied the U.S. Forest Service by destroying his Gila grazing allotment by overgrazing it with cattle. Laney would lose everything in his court battle, but remains an icon to ranchers in this state. In addition to fighting with Laney, Kienzle went on to work with the Paragon Foundation, another extreme private property rights and anti-wolf organization, dressed up as a Western Heritage Foundation, based in Alamogordo, NM. In our constant fight to protect Otero Mesa, America’s Wildest Grassland, it was the Paragon Foundation that fought to ensure it was not given protection and they also strongly opposed our efforts to get the National Monument protections for the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks in Las Cruces.
Many of the lawyers at Mountains States Legal seem to be fanatics of the writer Ayn Rand, which seems to play into the thinking of the so-called ‘wise-use’ movement.
With this as a resume, Governor Susanna Martinez made sure that Kienzle was put in charge of wildlife in our state. Clearly Martinez wants wildlife dead, tortured, trapped or hunted to the brink, yet she is taking no heat for such a completely radical stand.
The reality is, she could care less, but she wants her special interests (the livestock industry,) happy and supportive. Kienzle is the perfect foot soldier to ensure that the commission flies under the radar and continues to kill …except that we refuse to allow them to go below the radar!
This State Game Commission must be abolished, period. If they are not, we are poised to see a wildlife bloodbath. Bear populations are in danger--not prospering as we are led to believe--yet the kill this year will reach new highs, thanks to the faux science that we are being fed by that agency. Cougars are now being subject to torture and more killing. The commissioners cannot even ask solid, intelligent questions related to wolves, they simply regurgitate fear mongering questions and place blockades to more releases.
We have had commissions before that did not support wildlife, but this time we have a person who clearly understands the politics, while enjoying the intense support of the republican establishment. Kienzle also has boosted his ‘most favored’ status by working on legal issues dealing with campaign financing. Working with Harvey Yates of HEYCO (the oil company that fought to drill in Otero Mesa,) Kienzle pushed to allow more giving than was permitted in Citizens United and worked to remove personal limits and soft money. Kienzle was also part of the Martinez transition team and selected her general council.
We are not dealing with a person who loves to hunt, but rather Martinez has placed a person of broad political and bureaucratic experience to head this commission and mandated it must direct its staff to kill.
We live in a time of great shame in our state; our Governor has done nothing in five years in office, except to try and sell off our lands and our heritage to those who would exploit it. She has put in place a commission designed to ensure that predators are slaughtered, and she has found her man for the job.
We must stop this commission once and for all. We must act with boldness and without delay; the traps of those who seek to destroy wildness have been set; we must find the courage to rid our lands of their hate and of their deceptions.
Kienzle must lose this battle. For he is covered in the blood of those animals that seek life, that seek a chance to live in the wildness that is their birthright, one that he and his group of true believers want to take from us all.
Disband this commission!
We will be distributing a window sticker soon and we're asking businesses and citizens alike to place them on their doors, or on their vehicles.
Bold Visions Conservation