SANTA FE – During todays meeting, the State Game Commission and the Department of Game and Fish honored the late David Soules. Soules, who passed away in March at age 63, was a passionate and dedicated outdoorsman and conservationist.

“Since David’s passing this past spring, there has been such an outpouring of respect and honor to such a great man that had given his life to wildlife, to conservation, to hunting, to the sports and activities of this great state and our country,” said Commission Chairwoman Sharon Salazar Hickey. “During his tenure on the Commission, David was instrumental in negotiating the State Game Commission Easement for Hunter and Angler Access on State Lands Trust Lands with the State Land Office. He was known for his passion for the state’s habitat and was an advocate for projects statewide. David had a strong interest and understanding of Mexican Grey Wolf Program and supported efforts for the recovery of many threatened and endangered species.”

Soules began developing his lifelong interest in the outdoors at an early age, hunting and fishing with his brother and friends. Throughout his life, Soules was a conservationist who enjoyed hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting and fishing on public lands and waters in Southern New Mexico. He was co-author of “Exploring Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument” and earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Colorado State University.

“Even six months after this loss, it is important to reflect on who he was and how he went about his advocacy for New Mexico’s outdoors, particularly here in his hometown of Las Cruces,” said Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in a pre-recorded video. “David Soules was a devout conservationist, an engaging storyteller, a beloved husband, father and grandfather. His great service to this Commission and our state was only a part of the legacy he leaves behind.”

"David was a great friend and colleague. He was an important conservation leader in Las Cruces who will be hard to replace," said State Game Commissioner Roberta Salazar-Henry.

Game and Fish Director Mike Sloane remarked, “He was at once playful and inquisitive, always setting you at ease but asking important questions - and always willing to share.”

During the memorial, family and friends gathered to share memories, tell stories and remember a great conservationist.

“David was, in many ways, one of the primary spark plugs behind the successful Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument and all that it protected, especially the cultural areas that he mapped over years and years,” remembered U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich. “I will always be grateful for his thoughtful leadership and communication and advocacy around the very concepts of public land and of public wildlife.”

“David was on our board of directors for the past 11 years,” said Mark Allison, Executive Director at New Mexico Wild. “He was a mentor, a guide, an interpreter, an evangelist for the land. He was a friend of mine and of all of us at New Mexico Wild.”

Soules was appointed to an at-large position representing conservation interests on the State Game Commission by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in March 2019.