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Dreams

Dream: Farming and ranching are viewed as a special form of eco-system management and ranchers and farmers are rewarded for their ecological work.

Dream: National Conservation Resources Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a new agency or a licensed private sector manager provides participating farmers and ranchers with a portfolio of needed ecological services and the farmer/rancher receives grants, tax credits, payments or other forms of compensation when these services are performed.

Dream: Ranchers work with government agencies whose land they lease in order to: rehabilitate forage and watersheds; increase cover, food and water for wildlife and game; and protect endangered species. They work with State and federal agencies on targeted grazing, predator-friendly herd management and patch/burn fire strategies that cross property boundaries.

Dream: The State and USFWS raise cattle to replace cattle killed by wolves and fund a herd management study on the best cattle breeds, herd guardians and herd movements that reduce wolf predation.

Dream: Farmers and ranchers are “deputized” by New Mexico Fish and Game and compensated when they act as guardians of endangered plants and animals on their properties and on public lands they lease.

Dream: Water rights rules are modified for in-stream ecosystem management. They include compensation for any irrigator who returns good quality conveyance, leaching or return flows to a river or stream for conservation purposes; the creation of a Water Trust that parallels land trusts to which farmers can donate or sell water rights for conservation purposes; and greater use of water banks to trade flows for stream enhancement.

Dream: Create a State-level Invasive Species Coordinator position; devise a rapid-response system for detecting, investigating, and eradicating newly reported invasive species; adopt the New Mexico Strategic Plan for Managing Noxious Weeds. Create green jobs to address invasive plants that harm farms and ranchers.