Governor Appoints State Game Commission Members

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Governor Appoints State Game Commission Members

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham today announced the appointment of new members to the State Game Commission effective immediately.

Per state statute, five of the members shall represent different geographical areas of the state, and two other members shall be appointed at-large.

At least one member of the commission shall manage and operate a farm or ranch that contains at least two species of wildlife, and at least one member shall have a demonstrated history of involvement in wildlife and habitat protection issues and whose activities or occupation are not in conflict with wildlife and habitat advocacy.

No more than four may be members of the same political party.

The governor appointed:

  • District 1: Gail Cramer
  • District 2: Roberta Salazar Henry
  • District 3: Jeremy Vesbach
  • District 4: Joanna Prukop
  • District 5: Jimmy Bates
  • Appointed at-large: David Soules
  • Appointed at-large: Tirzio Lopez 

Gail Cramer served on the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission from 1996 to 2000. She has been the assistant chief of administration and finance for the Mayhill Volunteer Fire Department since 2008 and was previously a professor of learning support at San Juan College. Cramer is an experience bowhunter and has been a master bowhunter education instructor since 1991. She earned a master’s degree in educational management and development from New Mexico State University. 

Roberta Salazar-Henry worked for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for 25 years, retiring in 2003 as the assistant director of support services. She was appointed by the New Mexico State Game Commission to chair the Southwest Citizens Review Committee for the Habitat Stamp Program, where she served from 2008 to 2013. Salazar-Henry has served on the board of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance since 2013 and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Jeremy Vesbach currently works as the western lands program director for Western Resource Advocates. He was previously the field director and sportsmen outreach director for the Conservation Lands Foundation after serving as the executive director of the historic New Mexico Wildlife Federation for a decade. Vesbach was a member of the New Mexico State Mining Commission and earned a bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from the University of Wisconsin. 

Joanna Prukop has had a lifelong career in wildlife and natural resource management and previously served as the Secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department after working for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish for more than 25 years. She served in President Barack Obama’s administration as a three-term appointee to the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council. Prokop earned a master’s degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. 

Jimmy Bates is a lifelong outdoorsman and experienced hunter and fisherman and is currently the executive vice president at Premier Distributing Company in Albuquerque. Bates has previously served on the board of directors of Keep New Mexico Beautiful, Inc., and is currently a member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. He continues his outdoor education with his son and the Great Southwest Council of Boy Scouts America. 

David Soules is a lifelong sportsman and has more than 40 years of personal experience in wildlife and outdoor conservation work. He is the author of “Exploring Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument.” Soules has served on the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance Board of Directors since 2010 and earned a doctorate in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University.

Tirzio Lopez is currently a detective and criminal investigator for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission and Transportation Bureau. He has previously worked as a park ranger specialist for New Mexico State Parks, a park ranger for both the National Park Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Lopez has been a member of the Chama Valley Independent School District School Board since 2014 and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from New Mexico State University.