In Memory of a Champion for Wildlife

APNM and Animal Protection Voters were saddened to learn that Susan Weiss, Corrales Coexist with Coyotes founder and 2002 Milagro Award winner, passed away in her home early in the morning on November 6th.

A Corrales resident for over 30 years, Susan sprung into action in 2000 when threats of eradication of the village's native coyotes began to emerge, creating the group that would ultimately change the animal dynamic for Corrales and serve as a model for the rest of the state.

In less than three years, Coexist with Coyotes made enormous achievements in organizing on behalf of the animals, engaging the public through media, petitions, and educational presentations. Working in a key position on the village's Corrales Coyote Committee, Susan helped to develop official Corrales materials and information on nonlethal coyote management for residents, realtors, and motorists. Coexist with Coyotes even spearheaded a scientific study of the biology and behavior of Corrales' coyotes.

Additionally, Susan was a stalwart activist for wildlife coexistence across the state, serving as a wildlife rescuer with Fur & Feathers, and she organized caring New Mexicans to speak out on behalf of sustainable hunting quotas and against trapping and killing contests.

In his opening remarks for the 2002 "Animal Advocacy" Milagro Award, Rep. Ray Begaye noted: "Susan's accomplishments are a wonderful example of what one person can do to improve the lives of animals and the communities." The accomplishments of Susan and Coexist with Coyotes provide a vital template of how citizen action can effect positive and humane conditions for animals. In a time of increased awareness of thrill-killing of native species, we as New Mexicans must get involved in the same ways to promote respect for life.

Susan will be missed but her legacy lives on in the "Coyotes Live in Corrales" signage at both ends of the village and in the living coyotes that can still be seen there.

 


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