Friday, August 9, 2013

Rep. Cote: Save the Prairie Dogs

I haven't been covering the recent controversy over the planned prairie dog shoot organized by a Los Lunas gun store (A recent wire story is HERE)

But I just got this piece by Rep. Nate Cote, D-Las Cruces.

There is probably no more ruthless predator than man; yet as far as we know man is the only being with a spiritual conscience.  Then why does man do unconscionable acts such as the mass killing of wildlife?  I guess the answer is that man has had the ability to turn killing into a competitive sport so that conscience may be set to one side.  Man has shown time and time again that personal pleasure, no matter how twisted, justifies certain behavior.  Much of man’s actions such as animal killing contests are without regard for our ecosystem and the natural order of things. 

The calls and emails I’ve received from concerned citizens about Gunhawk Firearms' upcoming prairie dog killing contest reminds me of the historical mass killings of other wildlife, which drove them to the brink of extinction.  I urge Gunhawk to reconsider feeding man’s greed and brutality because of their selfish desire for profits over a good sense of humanity.  I have reviewed  important data concerning the Gunnison's prairie dog's severely diminished numbers; their status being reviewed for listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; their keystone role in New Mexico's ecosystem, and the concerns of hundreds of citizens dedicated to their preservation and am troubled by the answer.  I am persuaded that these contests could harm both the prairie dogs' existence and other species that depend on their colonies for survival.

The message to our children by these animal killing contests is the wrong message.  The example we need to set for our children should be one of respect for our ecosystem and the important role our wildlife plays within that system.  I join the protest and encourage Gunhawk to abandon its killing competitions. 

Nathan “Nate” CoteState Representative, District 53