Mexico Implementing A Landowner Program


Published: November - 2000

If you hunt much in Mexico, you have probably already heard outfitters and guides use the acronym UMA. The letters stand for Unidad Para la Conservacion, Manejo y Aprovechamiento Sus-tentable de la Vida Silvestre. Roughly translated, an UMA is a Wildlife Conservation Management and Harvest Unit. Whether you knew it or not, if you hunted Coues deer and mule deer in Mexico last season, or the year before, you hunted on an UMA. Starting this year, no matter what or where you hunt in Mexico you will be hunting on an UMA.

UMA's are Mexico's equivalent of those state/landowner partnership Units in Utah called CWMU's (Cooperative Wildlife Management Units). In both kinds of units, the landowners themselves gain significant control over the harvest of game on their properties, and they participate in the profit from that harvest. Whether UMA's ultimately produce the kind of hunting CWMU's are producing remains to be seen, but both originate with the idea that landowners will become better wildlife conservationists if they are able to profit from the game on their property.

Here, specifically, is how the UMA program is envisioned to work. The starting point of the program is an annual survey of game populations, carried out by a biologist hired by the landowner and, where possible, by a Mexican Wildlife Service biologist as well. The information gathered through the survey is used to set a harvest quota that is officially set by the government but managed by the landowner, who issues the tags as he sees fit. If an UMA has been allotted 10 mule deer tags, for example, the landowner can use the tags himself to go hunting; he can sell the 10 tags to 10 individuals; or he can sell all 10 tags to an outfitter. It's entirely up to the landowner.

In the US, programs like this have worked well, leading to a dramatic increase in trophy quality and a net gain in hunting opportunity. Think for a moment how much high quality hunting opportunity has been created just through the issuance........(continued)

 
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