Sunday, January 25, 2009

Officials, Catron residents discuss wolf program

At a gathering last week of ranchers, businessmen, Catron County residents, and representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Forest Service, several people spoke to the agency representatives about the Mexican Gray Wolf Recovery Program and how it is impacting lives and businesses. The people met at Hugh B. and Margie McKeen’s property where the McKeens have proposed remediation on the San Francisco River.
To a question about possible changes to the wolf program, Benjamin Tuggle, regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southwest Region, said he is not in favor of changing any of the promises made in the environmental impact statement.
“We have to modify the protocol,' Tuggle said. “We have moved away from biology in the management of the wolves. We have to look at the carrying capacity, pack dynamics and enough land space.
“How will it change?' he asked rhetorically. “We will look at the biology. At the same time, we have to weave in the socio-economic factors. I know there is an impact on the rancher.'
He said his agency is working to get interdiction funding to reimburse cattle losses.
“My background is in biology,' Tuggle said, “but I have people and economics to work with. The law says biology, but not half-baked biology. Biology represents recovery. How can I work with you to help recovery? We cannot continue to lose wolves, but must move toward a sustainable population, however many that is.'
Alan Tackman, Catron County rancher, spoke with emotion and sometimes seemed on the verge of tears.
“One day I was pulling a trailer with cattle in the front and horses in the back, when wolves chased us,' Tackman said. “They aren’t wild. She came right up beside my truck. Female 923 stood looking at me. I told her I wasn’t going to feed her.'
Last year, Tackman reported losing 15 grown, productive cows, and 20 to 30 of his 150 calves last year. Between eight and 10 of the cows died due to wolf depredation and the others probably succumbed to bear attacks and eating toxic weeds.
“I was constantly finding dead stuff,' Tackman said. “The country is so rough that it would be two or three days before I would find the carcasses.'
In July, he also found five injured calves with bite marks corresponding to the width of wolf teeth. In August, the district ranger allowed him to move one-third of his cattle to a grazing permit 60 miles from his property.
At the time, he said, he was told by Matt Wunder of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish that the department did not care how many calves were killed, “they weren’t going to remove the wolves.'
Tackman was faced with the Dark Canyon Pack denning on his fence line and raising pups. To protect his cattle, he moved them from the area close to the den. As a result, the wolves moved to the neighboring ranch and that rancher had to move his cattle to his winter grazing area.
“So the wolves came back to us,' Tackman said. “The bottom line for us is that wolf depredation is costing me $20,000 a year.
“I’ve tried everything,' Tackman continued. “I kept the cows in with the calves. I rode the range and had additional range riders, but the wolves hunt at night. It’s a pretty hard thing to swallow. We don’t only have the Dark Canyon Pack, but the Luna Pack comes over. Both have killed on my pasture.'
He said one night the telemetry apparatus he has been issued to keep track of the collared wolves was indicating a wolf in the vicinity, but he could not spot it, until it came out of the corral.
“The wolves come to the pen every couple of days,' Tackman said. “They leave their calling card and it’s full of hair. It isn’t elk hair; it’s cow hair. All summer the wolf scat had cow hair in it.'
He said John Oakleaf of the recovery program has been honest with him, and Tackman praised the efforts of the ranger to help him relocate his cattle, but it “makes me want to cry. I’ve spent my whole adult life building my ranch.'
Tackman was approached by John Horning of WildEarth Guardians asking him to retire his permit and the organization would pay him for it.
“(My family and I) talked about retiring and selling the permit so we could keep living here,' Tackman said. “I called him back to tell him yes, and he said the organization couldn’t afford it.'
Although ostensibly Defenders of Wildlife has a reimbursement program for cattle losses due to wolf depredation, Tackman said he has been paid for one cow in 10 years.
“ I don’t even call anymore,' he said. “Build a wolf sanctuary or something, but don’t keep killing us.'
Tackman said three of his ranching neighbors have sold their land and moved away because of the wolf.
Bucky Allred, owner of the Blue Front Café in Glenwood, said that late last summer his daughter, Sarah, and a Blue Front Café employee, Dave Hathaway, saw what they believed was a wolf at the Catron County landfill. The next morning, she reported it to the Catron County wolf investigator, Jess Carey, who was in the field investigating a wolf kill.
The same day, Allred received a call from a biologist at the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish who said he was passing along a message that the site had been checked by a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service wolf officer. The report said he found only quail, skunk, and dog or coyote tracks.
Allred asked how the officer how found the site, because only his daughter and employee knew where the wolf had been seen. The biologist told Allred he had no idea and didn’t care. He was just passing on the message.
The next day, Carey was shown the place where the wolf had been sighted and he took six castings of a wolf track.
Allred told the Daily Press that he was trying to convey to Tuggle that the wolf officers didn’t care about the residents, their children or their pets.
“ They just have their marching papers and that’s all they care about,' he said.
He also reported that the Catron County wolf investigator has taken castings of wolf paw prints in residential areas.
“ With all due respect,' Allred said to Tuggle, “ I want to see you have to haul the wolves out.'
Allred said his business depends on tourists and hunters.
“You told us in meetings before the wolves were released into Catron County that tourists would come to see the wolves,' he said. “I haven’t met a single tourist for wolves. It makes it hard to do business, because the program is pushing away hunters, tourists and other forest-user groups I depend on for my living. The wolves will run us all off.
“I want the program out of here,' Allred continued. “ We want to participate with you with integrity, but my business is drying up, especially during hunting season.'
“ Three years ago, we believed you,' Tackman said. “ But help needs to be quick. Last summer was hell for me. The bottom line is: wolves kill.
“I saw 120 elks calving,' he said. “I saw the wolves move in. The elk left and the wolves moved into the cows and calves. I can’t blame the wolf. It’s going to eat.'
Another resident, Tim Klumker, said he has to baby sit his neighbor ’ s dogs whenever she leaves, because wolves have attacked the dogs.
Tackman said the reality is that if ranching takes place where there are wolves, the rancher is going to lose cows.
“ I guess the rabid environmentalists are going to win and that’s wrong,' he said.
Corbin Newman, U. S. Forest Service regional forester, asked Tackman if funding to pay for cattle losses due to wolf depredation would help.
“ I know some people won’t agree with me,' Tackman said, “ but I’ll raise cows to feed wolves. I’m doing it anyway.'
Alex Thal, who works with Western New Mexico University, pointed out that replacing beef cattle with cull cattle would replace all aspects of ranching management.
“ People raise cattle to feed people, not wolves,' Thal said.
Ed Wehrheim, Catron County Commission chairman, said he knows a woman who has to open her door with a gun and check to make sure no wolves are around before she lets her children out to play.
“ In Catron County, ranchers pay 48 percent of our taxes,' Wehrheim said. “We’re already losing revenue.'
Tuggle said any wolves hanging around people “ have to go, and part of my duty is recognizing that implementing the program has an impact on you.'
He said he had talked to the Jones family the day they were moving out after having sold their ranch.
“ I’m going to work not to have to talk to another family like that,' Tuggle said.
“ You’re talking about paying for cows like you’d pay for a bale of hay,' Margie McKeen said. “We’re small ranchers. We get attached to our cattle. We even name some of them.'
Klumker pointed out that the cattle raised in the area are acclimatized and to replace those lost sometimes requires buying several before finding ones that can live and produce well in the region.
When Tackman said the wolves feed primarily on elk and cattle, and “not the deer as it said in the EIS,' Tuggle changed course and said that was why the EIS needed to be changed.
Wehrheim asked what the relationship is between the USFWS and the NMDGF.
Tuggle said they are partners and try to work together as closely as possible.
“ Ultimately, when it comes to the removal of wolves, it’s my decision,' Tuggle said.
He said the three- strike rule of depredation by a wolf would continue, but “ with modifications. We may have to have a fourth strike, but we have to make the right call with ranchers. The wolf program is not a success if it’s impacting a rancher.'
Wehrheim pointed out that moisture has been abundant the past few years, with 80 percent of cattle reproducing and 50 percent elk reproduction, but in a drought, cattle reproduction will drop to 40 percent or even 20 percent and “all the ranchers will be out of business, because of the wolves.'
To a question posed about the Road Management Rule, Newman said he would return to the area to answer questions.
“It’s a national program,' Newman said. “ Richard ( Markley, Gila Forest supervisor) came to me and said we hadn’t spent enough time listening to people and he’s right. I am committed to hearing from you. Nothing is more basic to the national forest than having people accessing it and using it.'
He did warn that some roads would be closed and cross- country travel across the forest would be prohibited, but “you need to have the ability to use (all-terrain vehicles) in the course of your work.'
McKeen said he was “ humbled and gratified' by the representatives’ presence on his property, but asked for swift action to remedy what began as a small problem and increased to a large problem in the river.
“ All together we have to make a decision to look at protecting your private property rights and the Southwestern willow flycatcher habitat,' Tuggle said, “but I don’t see it as something that can’t be done.'

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Status of lesser prairie chicken, sand dune lizard listing subject of discussion at Saturday meeting

CARLSBAD — An informational meeting for those interested in taking part in the recently signed agreements aimed at protecting the two threatened species in the region is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 24, at the Brininstool Ranch south of Carlsbad.

The meeting will explain the Candidate Conservation Agreement and the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances signed in December to benefit the lesser prairie chicken and the sand dune lizard. Both species are targeted — but not yet listed — as potentially endangered species.

The agreements are a way for state and federal regulatory agencies, industry and conservation groups to join together in the common goal of enacting a process to build awareness and help conserve the two declining species.

The Candidate Conservation Agreement applies to federal agencies and ranchers or energy companies that lease land from the federal government, while the agreement with assurances applies to private landowners, state agencies and entities leasing state lands.

The Center of Excellence for Hazardous Materials Management, located in Carlsbad, is acting as the central point of contact for anyone interested in participating in the agreements. The Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will work with the center to identify projects and mitigation measures for landowners and companies that participate in the agreements.

Landowners and land users will be given the opportunity to participate in the preservation of the species before they become federally listed and would receive special consideration in dealing with the consequences of subsequent federal regulations.

Saturday's meeting begins at 9 a.m. at the Brininstool Ranch and will explain the program and the participation process. To reach the ranch from Carlsbad, take U.S. 285 south approximately 10 miles to Highway 31. Turn left. Go approximately 10 miles to Highway 128. Turn right. Between mile markers 28 and 29, turn left (north) at the street sign. The Brininstool Ranch House is approximately four miles.

For more information, contact the center at (575) 885-3700.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration 2009

Honors Keioikd's legacy in New Mesico by promoting Leopold's vision that an ethical relationship with the land is essential to a vibrant and healthy community. The theme of this yearlong celebration is the relevance of Leopold's Land Ethic to how we address today's pressing environmental issues and make policy decisions about our future. Our goal is to engage the citizens of our community in the meaningful commitment to promise our children the inheritance of a beautiful and healthy physical environment.

The Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration began as the dream of a group of Albuquerque citizens who believed that careful consideration of Leopold’s legacy in the southwest could guide the citizenship toward a healthy, sustainable, and vibrant future. Initial conversations were small and intimate, but the widespread passion for Leopold’s work soon grew into a substantial grassroots effort involving individuals and organizations throughout New Mexico and Arizona.

Leopold himself believed in the power of a shared community effort. While he is rightly honored for beautiful articulation of the land ethic, he stated clearly that an ethic is not something an individual writes alone: “Nothing so important as an ethic is ever written,” he explained. “It evolves in the minds of a thinking community.” His was an invitation to all citizens to participate in careful thinking about our relationship with the land and how we might live as thoughtful, knowledgeable members of the biotic community.

The 2009 Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration extends this invitation to all individuals and organizations throughout the region. Our hope is to evoke a rich and varied conversation among ecologists and architects, philosophers and accountants, poets and politicians, artists and conservationists, students and teachers. We believe that a yearlong, community-wide exploration of Leopold’s work has the potential to shape our future in profound ways and to change us, in both mind and heart.

With the support of the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin, we are planning a wide variety of programs for the centennial anniversary of Leopold’s arrival in the southwest. Details of these can be found on the events page here. In particular, we hope you will join us the weekend of February 13th-15th for the kick-off event to our yearlong celebration: A Cultural Conversation: Aldo Leopold, the Southwest, and the Evolution of a Land Ethic for the Future.

In addition to our partnership with The Leopold Foundation, we have enjoyed the support of many individuals and organizations, whose contributions have made our work possible.


Anthony Anella
Robert Peters
Andrew Wooden
Bosque School
Sheryl Chard
Bosque School


Larry Allen
Malpai Borderlands Group
Edgar Boles
Albuquerque Historic Preservation Planner
Jim Burbank
Voices of the American Land
Craig Chapman
New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
Stanley Damberger
Professor Emeritus of English
Jens Deichmann
Sustainability Education
Jay Lee Evans
Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Department
Ethan Epstein
Modrall Sperling Law Firm
Susan Flader
Aldo Leopold Foundation
William Fleming
UNM School of Architecture & Planning
Buddy Huffaker
Aldo Leopold Foundation
Verne Huser
Joanie Griffin
Griffin & Associates
Colleen Langan
Bernalillo County Open Space Division
Martin Martinez
Albuquerque Open Space Division
Ida Mazzoni
Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System
Cara McCulloch
New Mexico Architectural Foundation
Celia Merrill
Golden Apple Foundation of NM
Bruce Milne
UNM Sustainability Studies Program
Ramona Montoya
Pueblo of Isleta
Glenda Muirhead
Albuquerque Wildlife Federation
Yasmeen Najmi
Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District
Linda Patterson
Albuquerque Wildlife Federation
Ray Powell
Jane Goodall Institute
Riann Powell
Albuquerque/Bernalillo County Library System
Suzanne Probart
Tree New Mexico
Matthew Schmader
Albuquerque Open Space Division
Jane Catherwood Sprague
Contemporary Art Society/Land Art
Robert Stamm
Bradbury & Stamm Construction
Dana Vackar Strang
Audubon New Mexico
Jean Szymanski
USDA Forest Service
Courtney White
Quivira Coalition


Dara Johnson
Sheryl Russell

Aldo Leopold Conference

February 13-14, 2009
National Hispanic Cultural Center

As the opening event in the Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration 2009, this “cultural conversation” is intended to foster creative discussion about the Southwestern roots of Leopold’s land ethic, the roots of an environmental ethic in Hispanic and Native American traditions, and the historic and potential connections among them. The event is open to the public and welcomes participants from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds and perspectives.

The program will include keynote speaker Gary Paul Nabhan, a Lebanese-American scholar exploring the challenge of ethics in a time of global change, a look at the roots of a land ethic in the Southwest from Native American, Hispanic, and Leopold perspectives, and a series of four panel discussions on the following topics, each with panelists from varied cultural traditions and viewpoints.

The event is co-sponsored by the Aldo Leopold Foundation and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Additional funding provided by the New Mexico Humanities Council through the We the People initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Center for Humans and Nature, the University of New Mexico, and the U.S. Forest Service.


The Local & the Global

Aldo Leopold composed his landmark essay “The Land Ethic” in the late 1940s, at a time when environmental concern was becoming global in scope. The land ethic has since helped to undergird an emerging global environmental ethic, even while emphasizing the need for revitalizing local connections to, and within, our landscapes. This panel will explore connections between local and global conservation challenges playing out in the Southwest and beyond.

Sustainability Across the Landscape

Sustainability aims to build healthy long-term relationships between people and land across cultural boundaries and landscapes, from wildlands to working lands to suburban and urban neighborhoods. Our landscapes are interconnected by food, water, energy, and complex community and economic ties. This panel will examine the challenges of sustainability.

Community Engagement

Over the last two decades, community-based approaches to environmental stewardship have taken root in settings from rural to urban. This movement has deep roots in Leopold’s own work on watershed health in the Southwest and Midwest. This panel will explore community-based projects and their contributions to the still-evolving land ethic.

Climate Change & Culture

With the reality of anthropogenic climate change now setting in, we face a cultural challenge unprecedented in human history. In his early work in the Southwest, Leopold had some inkling of these large-scale, long-term environmental changes. His land ethic now provides an essential part of the broader ethical foundation we must all create as a “thinking community.” This panel will address this great challenge from historical, scientific, and philosophical perspectives.


Click here to register online by credit card, or download a registration form that you can print and mail or fax to us. If you have registration questions, please contact Jeannine Richards at or 608.355.0279 ex. 25.

Colloquium Speakers

Cyndie Abeyta

Middle Rio Grande coordinator/hydrologist, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working with community groups on restoration of the bosque.

Estevan Arellano
(Embudo, NM)

Poet-writer-photographer-farmer and community leader, with interest also in the history of the Luna family, into which Aldo Leopold married.

Richard Bartlett

Vice Chairman of Mary Kay Inc. with interests in land conservation, environmental science and education and president of Thinking Like a Mountain Foundation.

Butch Blazer
(Santa Fe)

First Native American (Apache) state forester of New Mexico.

Anthony Anella

Principal of Anthony Anella Architect AIA, dedicated to conservation-based design and planning, and chair of the Aldo Leopold Centennial Celebration.

Gregory Cajete

Director of Native American Studies, University of New Mexico, and author of numerous books on Native Americans and environment.

Susan Flader
(Columbia, MO)

Professor emerita of U.S. western and environmental history, University of Missouri, Leopold scholar and board chair of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Albino Garcia
(Albuquerque South Valley)

Chicano/Native activist and founder of La Plazita Institute to pull at-risk youth off the street and into community, including working at Sanchez Farm.

Drum Hadley
(Douglas, AZ)

Rancher, poet and founder of the Malpais Borderlands Group.

Wenhui Hou
(Qingdao, PRC)

Professor emerita of history at Qingdao University, translated Leopold's Sand County Almanac into Chinese and has interpreted it widely for Chinese audiences.

Buddy Huffaker
(Baraboo, WI)

Executive director, Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Estella Leopold

Professor of paleobotany emerita, University of Washington, and daughter of Aldo and Estella Leopold.

Ariel Lugo
(San Juan, Puerto Rico)

U.S. Forest Service ecologist and director of the International Institute for Tropical Forestry, with special interest in global climate change.

Bill McDonald
(Douglas, AZ)

Rancher and executive director of the Malpais Borderlands Group, a coalition of ranchers and scientists devoted to private land stewardship.

Curt Meine
(Prairie du Sac, WI)

Senior fellow, Aldo Leopold Foundation, and director of history and conservation biology, Center for Humans and Nature, Leopold biographer and author of numerous studies of Leopold.

Bruce Milne

Professor of biology and director, University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program, with special interest in local food systems.

Ramona Montoya
(Isleta, N.M.)

Natural Resources Department, Pueblo of Isleta, and scholar of Native American studies and land resources.

Milford Muskett

Navajo historian and professor of Intra-American studies, Shoreline Community College, Seattle, with interest in Navajo environmental ethics.

Gary Paul Nabhan
(Tucson, Ariz.)

Southwest Center, University of Arizona, Lebanese-American ecologist and author of several books comparing cultural and environmental traditions of the American Southwest and the Middle East.

Miguel Santistevan
(Taos, N.M.)

Agricultural ecologist, with special interest in native maize varieties and acequia systems.

Dan Shilling

Adjunct professor at Arizona State University and former director, Arizona Humanities Council, who has a special interest in civic tourism and community development.

Carlos Vasquez

Director of History and Literary Arts, National Hispanic Cultural Center.

Sylvia Hood Washington

African-American historian, School of Public Health, University of Illinois-Chicago, with special interests in public health and the urban environment.

Courtney White
(Santa Fe)

Co-founder and executive director of the Quivira Coalition, devoted to restoration of ecosystem health on working ranches and forests of the Southwest.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Animal Rights Agenda Of America’s Next Regulatory Czar

Barack Obama’s pick for “regulatory czar,” Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein, may be the incoming president’s most popular appointment so far. Judging from his resume -- best-selling author, “pre-eminent legal scholar of our time,” and an endorsement from The Wall Street Journal -- we can almost understand why. Almost. Because as we’re telling the media today, there’s one troubling portion of the new Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) Administrator’s C.V. that has seems to have flown under everyone’s radar: Cass Sunstein is a radical animal rights activist.

Don’t believe us? Sunstein has made no secret of his devotion to the cause of establishing legal “rights” for livestock, wildlife, and pets. “[T]here should be extensive regulation of the use of animals in entertainment, scientific experiments, and agriculture,” Sunstein wrote in a 2002 working paper while at the University of Chicago Law school.

“Extensive regulation of the use of animals.” That's PETA-speak for using government to get everything PETA and the Humane Society of the United States can't get through gentle pressure or not-so-gentle coercion. Not exactly the kind of thing American ranchers, restaurateurs, hunters, and biomedical researchers (to say nothing of ordinary consumers) would like to hear from their next “regulatory czar.”

A version of the same paper also appeared as the introduction to Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions, a 2004 book that Sunstein co-edited with then-girlfriend Martha Nussbaum. In that book, Sunstein set out an ambitious plan to give animals the legal “right” to file lawsuits. We're not joking:

“[A]nimals should be permitted to bring suit, with human beings as their representatives, to prevent violations of current law … Any animals that are entitled to bring suit would be represented by (human) counsel, who would owe guardian like obligations and make decisions, subject to those obligations, on their clients’ behalf.”

It doesn't end there. Sunstein delivered a keynote speech at Harvard University’s 2007 “Facing Animals” conference. (Click here to watch the video; his speech starts around 39:00.) Keep in mind that as OIRA Administrator, Sunstein will have the political authority to implement a massive federal government overhaul. Consider this tidbit:

“We ought to ban hunting, I suggest, if there isn’t a purpose other than sport and fun. That should be against the law. It’s time now.”

Sunstein also argued in favor of “eliminating current practices such as greyhound racing, cosmetic testing, and meat eating, most controversially.”

He concluded his Harvard speech by expressing his “more ambitious animating concern” that the current treatment of livestock and other animals should be considered “a form of unconscionable barbarity not the same as, but in many ways morally akin to, slavery and mass extermination of human beings.” Sound familiar?

As the individual about to assume “the most important position that Americans know nothing about,” Sunstein owes the public an honest appraisal of his animal rights goals before taking office. Will the next four years be a dream-come-true for anti-meat, anti-hunting, and anti-everything-else radicals? Time will tell. For now, meat lovers might want to stock their freezers.

Monday, January 12, 2009

NM Groups: State Should Lead the Nation in Greenhouse Gas Reduction

A group promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency has petitioned New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board to adopt new regulations to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state. If passed, New Energy Economy believes the rules would place New Mexico at the front of U.S. states in fighting the effects of global warming and climate change pollution. The rules are designed to reduce dramatically greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade.

Bruce Frederick, with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, says global warming is already having a direct impact on the state, especially its fragile water supply.

"We are already having prolonged drought, reductions in snow melt, snow pack, reductions in precipitation, and average precipitation."

Frederick says the proposed regulations would have financial benefits, as well as environmental benefits.

"We think this will attract green businesses to the state, attract investment and also even attract federal dollars, ultimately."

A preliminary hearing on the environmental petition is scheduled in Santa Fe on April 6, and is open to the public. Some scientists, and others, argue reducing such pollution won't slow or stop what they call the natural process of climate change.

For more information, visit

Wilderness bill moves forward in the Senate

WASHINGTON — In a rare Sunday session, the Senate advanced legislation that would set aside more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness. Majority Democrats assembled more than enough votes to overcome GOP stalling tactics in an early showdown for the new Congress.

Republicans complained that Democrats did not allow amendments on the massive bill, which calls for the largest expansion of wilderness protection in 25 years. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other Democrats said the bill — a holdover from last year — was carefully written and included measures sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats.

By a 66-12 vote, with only 59 needed to limit debate, lawmakers agreed to clear away procedural hurdles despite partisan wrangling that had threatened pledges by leaders to work cooperatively as the new Obama administration takes office.

Senate approval is expected later this week.

Supporters hope the House will follow suit.

"Today is a great day for America's public lands," said the bill's sponsor, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. "This big, bipartisan package of bills represents years of work by senators from many states, and both parties, in cooperation with local communities, to enhance places that make America so special."

The measure — actually a collection of about 160 bills — would confer the government's highest level of protection on land ranging from California's Sierra Nevada mountain range to Oregon's Mount Hood, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado and parts of the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia. Land in Idaho's Owyhee canyons, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan and Zion National Park in Utah also would be designated as wilderness.

Besides new national wilderness designations, the bill would designate the childhood home of former President Bill Clinton in Hope, Ark., as a national historic site and expand protections for dozens of national parks, rivers and water resources.

In New Mexico, the bill:

• protects the Snowy River Cave, which is believed to be the longest continuous calcite formation in the world, near Fort Stanton.

• creates a 5,367-acre national monument in the Robledo Mountains in Doña Ana County to protect fossilized prehistoric animal tracks.

• provides for a settlement that recognizes about 600,000 acre-feet per year of water to the Navajo Nation for agricultural, municipal, industrial, domestic and stock watering purposes.

• authorizes $870 million for a Navajo-Gallup pipeline project that will also be paid by local communities and the state of New Mexico.

• authorizes up to $327 million to assist the Eastern New Mexico Rural Water Authority in the construction of a pipeline from the Ute Reservoir to several communities.

Reid said about half the bills in the lands package were sponsored by Republicans. Most had been considered for more than a year.

"I am happy that after months of delay we will finally be moving forward," Reid said.

The bill's chief opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., denounced what he called Democratic bullying tactics.

"I am disappointed the Senate majority leader has refused to allow senators the opportunity to improve, amend or eliminate any of the questionable provisions in his omnibus lands bill," Coburn told fellow senators.

"When the American people asked Congress to set a new tone, I don't believe refusing to listen to the concerns of others was what they had in mind," Coburn said. "The American people expect us hold open, civil and thorough debates on costly legislation, not ram through 1,300-page bills when few are watching."

Coburn and several other Republicans complained that bill was loaded with pet projects and prevented development of oil and gas on federal lands, which they said would deepen the nation's dependence on foreign oil.

Environmental groups said the bill set the right tone for the new Congress.

"By voting to protect mountains and pristine wildlands, Congress is starting out on the right foot," said Christy Goldfuss of Environment America, an advocacy group. "This Congress is serious about protecting the environment and the outstanding lands that Americans treasure."

Saturday, January 10, 2009

NM Trespassing Statutes

30-14-1. Criminal trespass.

A. Criminal trespass consists of knowingly entering or remaining upon posted private property without possessing written permission from the owner or person in control of the land. The provisions of this subsection do not apply if:

(1) the owner or person in control of the land has entered into an agreement with the department of game and fish granting access to the land to the general public for the purpose of taking any game animals, birds or fish by hunting or fishing; or

(2) a person is in possession of a landowner license given to him by the owner or person in control of the land that grants access to that particular private land for the purpose of taking any game animals, birds or fish by hunting or fishing.

B. Criminal trespass also consists of knowingly entering or remaining upon the unposted lands of another knowing that such consent to enter or remain is denied or withdrawn by the owner or occupant thereof. Notice of no consent to enter shall be deemed sufficient notice to the public and evidence to the courts, by the posting of the property at all vehicular access entry ways.

C. Criminal trespass also consists of knowingly entering or remaining upon lands owned, operated or controlled by the state or any of its political subdivisions knowing that consent to enter or remain is denied or withdrawn by the custodian thereof.

D. Any person who enters upon the lands of another without prior permission and injures, damages or destroys any part of the realty or its improvements, including buildings, structures, trees, shrubs or other natural features, is guilty of a misdemeanor, and he shall be liable to the owner, lessee or person in lawful possession for civil damages in an amount equal to double the value of the damage to the property injured or destroyed.

E. Whoever commits criminal trespass is guilty of a misdemeanor. Additionally, any person who violates the provisions of Subsection A, B or C of this section, when in connection with hunting, fishing or trapping activity, shall have his hunting or fishing license revoked by the state game commission for a period of not less than three years, pursuant to the provisions of Section 17-3-34 NMSA 1978.

F. Whoever knowingly removes, tampers with or destroys any "no trespass" sign is guilty of a petty misdemeanor; except when the damage to the sign amounts to more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to imprisonment in the county jail for a definite term less than one year or a fine not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or to both such imprisonment and fine in the discretion of the judge.

G. This section, as amended, shall be published in all issues of "Big Game Hunt Proclamation" as published by the department of game and fish.

30-14-1.1. Types of trespass; injury to realty; civil damages

A. Any person who enters and remains on the lands of another after having been requested to leave is guilty of a misdemeanor.

B. Any person who enters upon the lands of another when such lands are posted against trespass at every roadway or apparent way of access is guilty of a misdemeanor.

C. Any person who drives a vehicle upon the lands of another except through a roadway or other apparent way of access, when such lands are fenced in any manner, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

D. In the event any person enters upon the lands of another without prior permission and injures, damages or destroys any part of the realty or its improvements, including buildings, structures, trees, shrubs or other natural features, he shall be liable to the owner, lessee or person in lawful possession for damages in an amount equal to double the amount of the appraised value of the damage of the property injured or destroyed.

30-14-6. No trespassing notice; sign contents; posting; requirement; prescribing a penalty for wrongful posting of public lands.

A. The owner, lessee or person lawfully in possession of real property in New Mexico, except property owned by the state or federal government, desiring to prevent trespass or entry onto the real property shall post notices parallel to and along the exterior boundaries of the property to be posted, at each roadway or other way of access in conspicuous places, and if the property is not fenced, such notices shall be posted every five hundred feet along the exterior boundaries of such land.

B. The notices posted shall prohibit all persons from trespassing or entering upon the property, without permission of the owner, lessee, person in lawful possession or his agent. The notices shall:

(1) be printed legibly in English;

(2) be at least one hundred forty-four square inches in size;

(3) contain the name and address of the person under whose authority the property is posted or the name and address of the person who is authorized to grant permission to enter the property;

(4) be placed at each roadway or apparent way of access onto the property, in addition to the posting of the boundaries; and

(5) where applicable, state any specific prohibition that the posting is directed against, such as "no trespassing," "no hunting," "no fishing," "no digging" or any other specific prohibition.

C. Any person who posts public lands contrary to state or federal law or regualtion [regulation] is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

17-3-34. Revocation of license, certificate or permit for violation of law; notice and hearing; judicial review.

A. If the holder of any license, certificate or permit persistently, flagrantly or knowingly violates or countenances the violation of any of the provisions of Chapter 17 NMSA 1978 or of any regulations referred to in Section 17-2-10 NMSA 1978, the license, certificate or permit shall be revoked by the state game commission after reasonable notice given the accused of the alleged violation and after the accused is afforded an opportunity to appear and show cause against the charges.

B. At the hearing, the state game commission shall cause a record of the hearing to be made and shall allow the person charged to examine witnesses testifying at the hearing. Any person whose license, certificate or permit has been revoked by the commission may appeal to the district court pursuant to the provisions of Section 39-3-1.1 NMSA 1978.

Friday, January 9, 2009

ATV Regulations Must Work in Rough Terrain

The reforms under consideration for all-terrain-vehicle regulation look good on paper. Unfortunately, that's not where ATVs are operated. In the backcountry, many of the reforms could be as meaningless as a rancher's shout of “slow down!”
Based on a report by the Game and Fish and the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources departments, legislators are considering a minimum age of 16 for ATV operators, speed limits of 20 mph on roads and 10 mph on trails, stiffer penalties for repeat violations, driver's license endorsements and field enforcement by Game and Fish officers.
The new measures would beef up a 2005 law that requires riders under 18 to wear a helmet and eye protection and to attend a safety class.
That was a good first step, but ATV deaths continue — with 35 percent of them involving youths under 16. Damage to the environment continues as well.
“This is a crisis,” says Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, one of the sponsors of the 2005 law.
To protect riders and environment, legislators need to picture what will work in the woods.
Asking far-flung Game and Fish officers to keep an eye out for violators would provide spotty enforcement at best. Better to organize super blitzes at strategic locations, with State Police acting as backup. Stiffer penalties mean little in themselves; tying them to points on a driver's license would add teeth.
Most ATV operators are responsible folks who want to continue enjoying the backcountry. They should be enlisted to support another of the report's recommendations: a citizens' hot line to report violations.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Off-roading recommendations presented to state lawmakers

ALBUQUERQUE — A handful of state agencies has developed recommendations aimed at resolving conflicts with off-road vehicle users and curbing damage to cultural and natural resources across New Mexico.

The agencies presented the recommendations to state legislators during a packed meeting at the State Capitol on Wednesday. The hours-long meeting drew off-roaders, land owners and environmentalists, all passionate about their right to enjoy public land.

Democratic Sen. Phil Griego of San Jose said he plans to introduce legislation based on the recommendations and that developing an equitable way to manage off-road use is of great importance to New Mexico and the rest of the country.

"I know that in Colorado they're having the same kind of issues, and in Arizona they're having the same kind of issues," Griego said. "If you talk to any government official who deals with parks or mountains or wilderness areas, they're going to tell you these off-roaders are destroying the trails, they're destroying the forests, they're disrespecting the people who make a living off the land."

Battles among off-roaders, ranchers and environmentalists have heated up around the country as federal land management agencies try to decide what areas should be designated for travel by motorcycles, four-wheelers and other backcountry vehicles.

Ranchers have complained that their fences are being cut and their animals are being chased, but off-road recreation groups say the majority of off-roaders are being given a black eye by a small group of riders who disrespect the land.

In an effort to find a middle ground, New Mexico lawmakers charged the state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, the Game and Fish Department and other agencies to come up with the recommendations before the legislative session that starts Jan. 20.

The recommendations — the result of 10 months of work — range from a hot line for reporting off-road violations to requiring off-roaders to get an added endorsement on their driver's licenses that would ensure they are educated on proper trail etiquette.

"What we're trying to do is pass a law that will allow them to use the trails but learn to respect the culture, learn to respect the environment and ride with some responsibility," Griego said.

The recommendations also call for the state Game and Fish Department to manage New Mexico's off-road vehicle recreation and for the state to coordinate with the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management as they develop travel management plans for federal lands.

Reese Fullerton, deputy secretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources, said he plans to meet with off-roaders to hear any concerns about the recommendations. But, he added, he thinks off-road groups will step up to help the state watch for improper off-road vehicle recreation.

"There will be some battles but I think most people are responsible," Fullerton said.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday with the New Mexico Off Highway Vehicle Alliance. The group has accused Fullerton's agency of having an anti-off-road bias.

Fullerton said there are success stories in other states where officials have taken steps to manage off-road vehicle recreation through age limits, safety requirements and rider education mandates.

"This is a good time for New Mexico to be doing this," he said.

Agents Have Suspect in Wolf Killing

Law enforcement agents with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have wrapped up their investigation of the Aug. 6 illegal killing of an endangered Mexican gray wolf and presented the results to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Nick Chavez, Albuquerque-based special agent in charge of the FWS Southwest Region law enforcement office, said Wednesday that federal agents have a suspect in the killing of the wolf.
The animal's corpse was recovered Aug. 15 on private land in the Gila Hot Springs area near the Gila Cliff Dwellings after a mortality signal was emitted Aug. 6 from its radio collar, according to a federal search warrant obtained this week by the Journal.
The wolf, the alpha male of the Laredo Pack, was one of seven lobos killed under suspicious circumstances in 2008 and under investigation by Fish and Wildlife.
If charges are filed, the case would be the first brought against someone in New Mexico for the illegal killing of a wolf — a violation of the Endangered Species Act punishable by up to a year in jail and fines up to $50,000 or a civil penalty of up to $25,000.
Only one poaching case has been successfully prosecuted in the 11-year history of the wolf reintroduction project. A 21-year-old Arizona man was sentenced in 2000 to four months in prison in that case.
About 31 wolves have been illegally killed since lobos were first released in southeast Arizona in early 1998.
Chavez declined to name the suspect, state how the wolf was killed, or detail where on the ranch the wolf was located. Norm Cairns, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Albuquerque, declined to comment on the case.
According to the search warrant, the wolf, designated AM 1008, and its mate were released in the McKenna Park area of the Gila Wilderness on June 24. By early July, the pair had traveled about 15 miles south to the Gila Hot Springs area, and wildlife technicians were dispatched to monitor the wolves and haze them away from residential areas.

Rancher Versus Wolves

More than two dozen animals in Reed Point are dead after wolf attacks and one rancher is fed up.

"They can have as many wolves as they want in Alaska, Canada, Yellowstone Park, but don't bring them to the Svenson ranch, they're not needed here," said Sven Svenson.

He's a man who's running out of ideas and running out of ways to stop more of his animals from being killed by wolves on 10,000 acres of grazing land. "I've lost with the ones we just looked at this makes 27 head," said Svenson. "I'm sure there's stuff I haven't found yet. I won't know until I get a count in February."

Svenson and his two sons have tried just about everything. "We've gone out at night and looked around and we've set up all our non-lethal decoys, the guard dogs, the flashing lights, and the scare crows and it doesn't seem to faze them any," said Eric Svenson.

The family's also turned to Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks officials and also brought in federal trappers, so far they've killed one wolf, but another remains on the loose. The family remains hopeful they can get back to business on their ranch sooner rather than later.

Defenders of Wildlife are planning on reimbursing the Svensons for lost animals; however the organization is currently out of money. In March, the federal government de-listed wolves from the endangered species list. After several lawsuits they were put back on the list and officials predict the wolf to be taken off the list in the near future.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

New Regulations Proposed for Valles Caldera

Being a cowboy probably never involved so much red tape.
Officials this month proposed new rules for the management of the livestock operation on the 89,000-acre Valles Caldera National Preserve, covering everything from where to locate a fence to how much grass cows can eat.
The regulations also have implications for outdoors enthusiasts and environmentalists concerned about the protection of and access to the preserve's jaw-dropping vistas and prized trout waters.
The proposed guidelines are contained in an environmental assessment that's open for public comment through Feb. 2.
It replaces a previous assessment completed in 2002 that allowed preserve managers to launch the annual grazing program on an interim basis.
Officials say the new, more comprehensive assessment gives managers more leeway in running the ranch. It empowers managers to decide how many head of cattle and miles of fencing are appropriate given preserve goals like turning a profit and protecting the environment.
"What we want is the flexibility to manage the resources," said preserve manager Dennis Trujillo.
Four plans for grazing are analyzed in the assessment. The one favored by managers would allocate up to 40 percent of the grasses and other forage produced annually for grazing by livestock and the approximately 2,500 elk that reside on the land most of the year.
Preserve scientist Bob Parmenter said 40 percent is the magic number to ensure the forage keeps growing.
While the 2002 assessment capped head of cattle at 2,000, the new proposal doesn't include any such limit. Still, Parmenter said the forage parameters will keep the number of livestock on the preserve from climbing much higher than that.
Managers expect the proposal would allow the removal of up to 12 miles of existing fencing and installation about 3.5 miles of new, more wildlife-friendly fence. The Valles Caldera Trust maintains more than 54 miles of perimeter and 64 miles of interior fence.
A second alternative considered in the assessment would allocate only 5 percent of forage to grazing. The option would allow for the removal of most of the interior fencing, allowing opportunities to traverse the preserve unimpeded by gates or fences.
Officials hope the plan will help reverse decades worth of high-intensity livestock operations while also achieving financial self-sustainability by 2015, as mandated by Congress when the preserve was created.
But the environmental group WildEarth Guardians has argued that the preserve's "sustainable" grazing practices only further deteriorate the land and water. Cattle can destroy stream bank vegetation and cause erosion, leaving waterways wider, shallower and warmer, to the detriment of trout.
The group this year submitted its own bid for the preserve's livestock program "for the privilege not to graze the preserve."
But the contract went to rancher Gary Morton for 1,960 steers, turning a small profit for the preserve.
The environmental assessment can be viewed at

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Isn't it time to discuss options other than wilderness areas?

Alamogordo Daily News

Why hasn't the Daily News ever found room to describe outgoing Congressman Steve Pearce's bill, H.R. 6300?

In fact, I wonder how many people who are supporting the establishment of wilderness areas in Doña Ana County have actually obtained a copy of the bill and read it.

The "Election alters wilderness fight outlook" article written by Sun-News reporter Diana Alba in the Dec. 24 ADN states that, "People for Preserving Our Western Heritage" (PPOWH) was mainly supported by a group of Doña Ana County ranchers and off road vehicle users.

However, PPOWH drafted H.R. 6300 and stated in a three-page brochure that the proposed bill has been endorsed by 14 professional people that include New Mexico's Secretary of Agriculture, two retired NMSU presidents, a retired NMSU dean of the College of Agriculture, a retired Deputy Chief of the U.S. Forest Service and 700 businesses and organizations from Doña Ana County and elsewhere.

According to the article, the local director of the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance stated that opponents to wilderness areas haven't shown a shred of flexibility. Yet, H.R. 6300 is an exceptional model of flexibility and conciliation written by a group of ranchers who are willing to sit down with all the parties who are interested in preserving Doña Ana County open range land and mountains.

Why can't the Sun News and ADN end their obvious partiality toward wilderness lovers and report objectively on the alternative ways that have been introduced to safeguard open public land without locking it up in wilderness areas? Quoting a PPOWH brochure:

"The 'Doña Ana County Planned Growth, Open Space and Rangeland Preservation Act' has quickly earned significant community support. Individuals, businesses, and organizations have been very receptive to this balanced approach to preserving and protecting our federal lands."

H.R. 6300 shouldn't be allowed to die in the House Committees of Natural Resources because its sensible approach proves that to save open land doesn't mean it has been classified as wilderness which, in many instances throughout the western United States, has seriously disrupted or destroyed ranching peoples' livelihoods.

The bill gives protection to 301,418 acres of public federal lands in Doña Ana County by withdrawing them from sale and mining activities.

I fail to understand why wilderness advocates are distrusted over the preservation areas established in the bill being multiple use when the bill also states that the Department of the Interior would be required to establish land management rules for safeguarding environmentally sensitive areas, cultural sites and other sites with unique geology and paleontology.

Otero County residents should study H.R. 6300 and decide if we need similar legislation in the near future because wilderness advocates are displaying a marked interest in Otero Mesa.

Charles N. Dennett, Alamogordo

Thursday, January 1, 2009

SB9 - Removing ag workers comp exemption

49th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2009

Cisco McSorley





Section 1. Section 52-1-6 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1990 (2nd S.S.), Chapter 2, Section 4) is amended to read:


A. The provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act shall apply to employers of three or more workers; provided that act shall apply to all employers engaged in activities required to be licensed under the provisions of the Construction Industries Licensing Act regardless of the number of employees. The provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act shall not apply to employers of private domestic servants [and farm and ranch laborers]. Language within brackets [ ] is deleted.

B. An election to be subject to the Workers' Compensation Act by employers of private domestic servants [or farm and ranch laborers], by persons for whom the services of qualified real estate salespersons are performed or by a partner or self-employed person may be made by filing, in the office of the director, either a sworn statement to the effect that the employer accepts the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act or an insurance or security undertaking as required by Section 52-l-4 NMSA l978.

C. Every worker shall be conclusively presumed to have accepted the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act if [his] the worker's employer is subject to the provisions of that act and has complied with its requirements, including insurance.

D. [Such] Compliance with the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act, including the provisions for insurance, shall be [and construed to be] a surrender by the employer and the worker of their rights to any other method, form or amount of compensation or determination thereof or to any cause of action at law, suit in equity or statutory or common-law right to remedy or proceeding whatever for or on account of personal injuries or death of the worker other than [as] those actions, suits or rights provided in the Workers' Compensation Act and shall be an acceptance of all of the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act and shall bind the worker [himself] and, for compensation for [his] the worker's death, shall bind [his] the worker's personal representative, [his] surviving spouse and next of kin, as well as the employer and those conducting [his] the employer's business during bankruptcy or insolvency.

E. The Workers' Compensation Act provides exclusive remedies. No cause of action outside the Workers' Compensation Act shall be brought by an employee or dependent against the employer or [his] the employer's representative, including the insurer, guarantor or surety of any employer, for any matter relating to the occurrence of or payment for any injury or death covered by the Workers' Compensation Act. Nothing in the Workers' Compensation Act, however, shall affect [or be construed to affect] in any way the existence of or the mode of trial of any claim or cause of action that the worker has against any person other than [his] the worker's employer or another employee of [his] the worker's employer, including a management or supervisory employee, or the insurer, guarantor or surety of [his] the worker's employer."

Section 2. Section 52-1-7 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1975, Chapter 284, Section 4, as amended) is amended to read:


A. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in the Workers' Compensation Act, an executive employee of a professional or business corporation or limited liability company, employed by the professional or business corporation or limited liability company as a worker as defined in the Workers' Compensation Act, or a sole proprietor may affirmatively elect not to accept the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act.

B. Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in the Workers' Compensation Act, the employer of a family member employee in a family farming business may affirmatively elect not to accept the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act for the family member employee.

[B. Each] C. An executive employee, [or] sole proprietor or employer of a family member employee of a family farming business desiring to affirmatively elect not to accept the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act as permitted in Subsection A or B of this section may do so by filing an election in the office of the director. An employer of a family member employee of a family farming business shall deliver a copy of the affirmative election made pursuant to this section to the family member employee for whom the affirmative election is made.

[C. Each] D. An executive employee, [or] sole proprietor or employer of a family member employee of a family farming business desiring to revoke [his] an affirmative election made pursuant to this section not to accept the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act may do so by filing a revocation of the affirmative election with the workers' compensation insurer and in the office of the director. The revocation shall become effective thirty days after filing. An executive employee shall cause a copy of the revocation to be mailed to the board of directors of the professional or business corporation or limited liability company. An employer of a family member employee of a family farming business shall deliver a copy of the revocation of the affirmative election made pursuant to this section to the family member employee for whom the affirmative election was made.

[D.] E. The filing of an affirmative election not to accept the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act shall create a conclusive presumption that an executive employee, [or] sole proprietor or family member employee of a family farming business is not covered by the Workers' Compensation Act until the effective date of a revocation filed pursuant to this section. The filing of an affirmative election not to accept the provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act shall apply to all corporations or limited liability companies in which the executive employee has a financial interest.

[E.] F. In determining the number of workers of an employer to determine who comes within the Workers' Compensation Act, an executive employee who has filed an affirmative election not to be subject to the Workers' Compensation Act shall be counted for determining the number of workers employed by [such] the employer.

G. In determining the number of workers of an employer to determine who comes within the Workers' Compensation Act, a family member employee of a family farming business shall not be counted by the employer.

[F.] H. For purposes of this section:

(1) "executive employee" means the [chairman] chair of the board, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer or other executive officer, if [he] that person owns ten percent or more of the outstanding stock, of the professional or business corporation or a ten percent ownership interest in the limited liability company; [and]

(2) "family farming business" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation in which all of the partners, members or shareholders are related within the third degree by blood or marriage and where the business cultivates the land for the production of agricultural crops, fruit or other horticultural products or the business is for the ownership, keeping or feeding of animals for the production of livestock or livestock products;

(3) "family member employee" means a spouse of an employer or an employee related to the employer within the third degree by blood or marriage;

(4) "within the third degree by blood or marriage" means related to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity and includes parents, grandparents, great- grandparents, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces and spouses; and

[(2)] (5) "sole proprietor" means a single individual who owns all the assets of a business, is solely liable for its debts and employs in the business no person other than [himself] that individual."

Section 3. REPEAL.--Section 52-1-6.1 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1984, Chapter 127, Section 988.3) is repealed.

- 7 -

HJM 1 - NMSU Water Study


Paul C. Bandy



WHEREAS, the legislature has received testimony on the
need for water conservation; and
WHEREAS, agriculture is the single largest consumer of
water; and
WHEREAS, Senate Bill 461 was negotiated and enacted in
2007 to provide incentives for irrigators to conserve more
water; and
WHEREAS, implementation of Senate Bill 461 by the office
of the state engineer has not resulted in water savings as
intended; and
WHEREAS, the need to encourage conservation and respect
private property rights are inherently compatible; and
WHEREAS, existing state policy works contrary to that
goal; and
WHEREAS, New Mexico state university has continuing
research programs to test various water practices and their
impacts on consumptive use efficiencies;
STATE OF NEW MEXICO that New Mexico state university be
requested to report to the legislature the results of research
on water conservation methods that reduce consumptive use along
with any recommendations for legislation to the appropriate
interm committee by December 2009; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this memorial be
transmitted to the president of New Mexico state university.

HB 39 Land Grants

49th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2009





Section 1. STATE AGENCY LAND USE PLANNING--FORMER LAND GRANT LANDS.--A state agency that owns any interest in real property that is located within the boundaries of a land grant-merced shall include the board of trustees of that land grant-merced in the planning process for the use of the interest in real property if:

A. the location of the property is within the boundaries of the grant as shown in the United States patent to that land grant-merced; and

B. the land grant-merced is governed as a political subdivision of the state pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 49, Article 1 NMSA 1978 or statutes specific to the named land grant-merced.