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New Mexico sportsmen worried about $500K budget transfer

February 1, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico sportsmen are concerned about a proposal that calls for propping up state parks with money from a fund meant for wildlife conservation projects.

Under budget proposals being considered by state lawmakers, $500,000 would be transferred from the game protection fund to the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department for use at state parks.

This would mark the fifth year for the transfer, but sportsmen argue that following through with the proposal could end up compromising about $14 million in federal matching funds.

Jesse Deubel with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation says federal rules require the funding —which comes from hunting and fishing licensing fees and taxes — to be under the control of the state game department.

Legislative analysts say they’re still studying the issue.

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