ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Game Commission is launching a nationwide search for a new director to lead the agency that manages wildlife throughout the state and oversees enforcement of off-highway motor vehicle regulations.

The commission made the announcement late Friday, just days after it was made public that Director Alexa Sandoval would be retiring in the coming months.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has been in existence for more than a century, and Sandoval was only the second woman ever appointed to lead the agency. She had worked for the department for about two decades before she was appointed director in 2014.

She started as a game warden in Roswell and Clayton in 1994 and later worked as a wildlife specialist, federal grant manager, licensing supervisor and eventually the chief financial officer.

"Alexa has done a wonderful job for both the commission, the department, the public and every other stakeholder and we wish she would stay but understand that she has other things that she wants to do," said Game Commission Chairman Paul Kienzle.

Sandoval did not immediately return a message seeking comment about her retirement.

As director, she manages about 300 employees and an annual budget of nearly $40 million. The agency's mission includes conserving wildlife and managing some species for hunting and fishing opportunities.

The formal job posting will go up Sunday and applications will be accepted through June 1. The commission hopes to have a new director by late fall.