Base and Small Contributing Ranches

Base Allocation Ranches and Small Contributing Ranches

Ranches and farms in the Primary Management Zone (PMZ) registered with EPLUS can receive private land elk hunting authorizations.  The method of allocating and the number of authorizations to these ranches depend on the following:

  1. The acreage of the ranch,
  2. The quality of the elk habitat of the ranch and the elk occupancy determined the Elk Contribution Rating (ECR)1,

  3. The ratio of the ECR-weighted ranch acreage to the sum of the areas of all other ranches in the same GMU,
  4. The public/private land ratio in the GMU (i.e., the “public/private split”),
  5. and the number of available licenses the NMDGF wildlife biologists determine for that GMU and elk herd.

Ranches with enough acreage weighted by a high enough ECR score qualify for a “base allocation.”   These “base ranches” are allocated private land elk authorizations each season.

Ranches that cannot qualify for at least one base allocation, generally because they are smaller in acreage, have to compete in a random draw each year in the “small contributing ranch” (SCR) pool.  Small contributing ranches may not receive any private land hunting authorizations every year.

Elk during the rut, GMU 6-B, public land, Sandoval County, New Mexico

Base Allocation Ranches

Base Allocation Ranch Acreages versus Number of EPLUS Authorizations

The number of EPLUS authorizations allocated to a qualifying ranch is not only a function of its acreage.  This plot of ranch authorizations (UW and RO) versus the ranch acreage shows an overall linear trend of more authorizations for larger ranches. However, one can easily see the variability in the number of authorizations for a given acreage due to the above reasons for how NMDGF calculates the number of authorizations—the base allocation ranch acreages span [160 acres, 221,845 acres]. The data shown are for the Primary Management Zone (PMZ) ranches. Hover over the data points on the chart to see more details.

Distribution of Authorizations to Base Allocation EPLUS Ranches

The distribution of ranch-only EPLUS authorizations to base-allocation ranches is shown here for 2022 data. Mouse hover over data points for more detail.

The distribution of unit-wide EPLUS authorizations to base-allocation ranches is shown here for 2022 data. Mouse hover over data points for more detail.

Small Contributing Ranches

Small Contributing Ranch Acreages versus Number of EPLUS Authorizations

This plot of ranch authorizations (UW and RO) versus the ranch acreage for Small Contributing Ranches (SCR) shows fewer authorizations per ranch than the above allocations for base allocation ranches. SCR ranches can only receive more than one authorization if they participate in an approved NMDGF Habitat Improvement Project. The acreage values for SCR ranches span [3 acres, 3,361 acres].  The data shown are for the Primary Management Zone (PMZ) ranches. Hover over the data points on the chart to see more details.

Allocation of Private Land Elk Hunting License Authorizations to EPLUS Ranches

The base allocation per ranch will be set as follows (see the diagram below for the details):

  1. A ranch’s deeded acres multiplied by that ranch’s elk contribution rating equals ranch-weighted acres.
  2. A ranch’s weighted acres divided by the total private deeded acres in the GMU primary management zone equals that ranch’s percent ranch weighted acres.
  3. Percent ranch-weighted acres multiplied by the number of available private land elk authorizations for the GMU equals the number of authorizations per ranch.
  4. All ranches receiving at least one whole authorization through the allocation formula will be considered a base ranch and will receive a base allocation.
  5. When a ranch cannot receive at least one whole authorization through the allocation formula, the ranch will become an SCR.
  6. The combined fractional authorizations from SCRs will comprise the allocations available in the SCR pool.
  7. Distribution of the SCR pool will be as follows:
    1. SCRs will compete in a yearly, random drawing weighted on the ranch’s ranch score for authorizations.
    2. SCRs may receive not more than one authorization through the yearly, random drawing. SCRs can receive additional authorizations after the completion of NMDGF-approved Habitat Improvement Projects.
    3. Bonus allocations and two-year unconverted authorizations remaining after the issuance of incentive authorizations will be added to the pool for the SCR drawing.

All ranches receiving at least one whole authorization through the NMDGF allocation formula will be considered a “base ranch” and will receive a base allocation each year2

When a ranch cannot receive at least one whole authorization through the allocation formula, the ranch will become a “small contributing ranch”( SCR).

Algorithm for Determining EPLUS Ranch Authorizations

Please scroll to the bottom right corner of the interactive chart below to zoom to a level where you can see things.   The nodes can be opened/closed by clicking on them.

Footnotes and References

  1. “Elk Contribution Rating” or “ECR” shall mean the rating assigned to a ranch by appropriate department staff based on the following: occasional elk presence shall receive an ECR of 1, frequent elk presence shall receive an ECR of 1.25, continuous elk presence shall receive an ECR of 1.5. NMAC 19.30.5.7.I

  2. N.M. Code R. § 19.30.5.9.   New Mexico State, Natural Resources and Wildlife Administration Private Land Elk License Allocation,  19.30.5.7 NMAC – Rp, 19.30.5.7 NMAC, 4-1-2019  https://www.srca.nm.gov/parts/title19/19.030.0005.html