FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2017
SANTA FE, N.M. – Animal Protection Voters, via its political action committee APV-PAC, announced today its endorsement of Dr. Ray Powell for State Land Commissioner in 2018.
As the authority who controls the use and care of 9 million surface acres of state trust land in order to fund childhood education and other public institutions, the State Land Commissioner is in a powerful position to protect New Mexico’s wildlife residing on those lands.
Ray Powell’s record on serious animal protection and wildlife habitat conservation issues, both during and beyond his past tenure as Land Commissioner, reflects a deep commitment to caring for the health of New Mexico’s land, communities, and animals.
“Over the past twenty-five years, Ray Powell has proven that state land management can be lucrative, science-based, ethical, and sustainable all at the same time,” noted Jessica Johnson, Chief Legislative Officer for Animal Protection Voters. “New Mexicans believe humane stewardship of New Mexico’s wildlife and habitat is a crucial part of that sustainability—and Ray Powell is an incomparable champion of those values.”
Powell—who grew up with a family history in agriculture, practiced veterinary medicine with an expertise in wildlife rehabilitation, and worked with world-renowned scientist and humanitarian Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research Education and Conservation—raised a record $2.7 billion in state land revenues during his past term as Land Commissioner and created over 5,000 jobs, demonstrating that humane values and sustainability are compatible with robust financial support for our public institutions.
Now running for re-election for his former seat, Powell has an opportunity to bring humane values back to the State Land Office.
Notably, Ray Powell has:
- Vocally supported efforts to pass “Scooby’s Law” to require a bittering agent in antifreeze sold in New Mexico, to prevent accidental poisoning of pets and children;
- Vocally supported years of efforts culminating in a successful ban on cockfighting in New Mexico in 2007;
- Joined the “Voices Against Violence” coalition that passed a 1999 bill making extreme animal cruelty a fourth-degree felony;
- Guided the development of the current regulatory scheme that established humane standards for animal shelter euthanasia, housing, and care;
- Received the Animal Protection of New Mexico Milagro Award for Humane Education in 2000, for his work to educate residents about the link between animal abuse and human violence, increase animal cruelty penalties, and create programs and “tailgate classrooms” for conservation education;
- As the Director of the Valles Caldera Wilderness Area, convinced the Board to monitor coyotes with a radio collar program, rather than adopting a policy of carte blanche killing;
- Banned coyote killing contests on state trust land, as State Land Commissioner;
- Prohibited cruel “rattlesnake roundups” on state trust land;
- Partnered with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and grazing lessees to protect Lesser Prairie-Chicken habitat;
- Publicly opposed proposals to open a horse slaughterhouse in Roswell and reinforced the inherent cruelty of industrialized horse slaughter; and
- Advocated for legislation banning coyote killing contests statewide and phasing out outdated wildlife trapping tools and methods.
“The proven relationship between the protection of animals and the health of our communities makes clear that our state desperately needs more humane-minded leadership in New Mexico,” said Johnson. “With Ray Powell at the helm of the State Land Office, New Mexicans can trust that our land and wildlife will be well taken care of.”
Animal Protection Voters/APV-PAC issues endorsements based on candidates’ records and positions on animal protection issues and not based on party affiliation.
About Animal Protection Voters
Founded in 2002, Animal Protection Voters is the leading legislative and political advocacy organization for animal protection in New Mexico. Its mission is to:
- Actively promote and support animal-friendly legislation at the state, federal, and local levels;
- Build an effective political voice for animal advocacy in New Mexico; and
- Hold New Mexico’s elected officials accountable on animal issues.
For more information about Animal Protection Voters’ accomplishments, current priority issues, and annual scorecards, please visit www.apvnm.org, and be sure to follow Animal Protection Voters on Facebook and Twitter.
About Animal Protection Voters-Political Action Committee (APV-PAC)
APV-PAC is the only political action committee in New Mexico dedicated solely to electing humane state lawmakers that support animal protection. Follow APV-PAC on Facebook to stay updated on its election work throughout the state.