Acequias & Land Grants
Acequias are community ditches or irrigation canals that are essential to northern New Mexican agricultural tradition and culture. Any proposed legislation that has the potential to positively or negatively impact acequia function or culture — usually pertaining to land use or water law – will be included in this issue category.
Land grants were formally recognized as political subdivisions of the state in 2004. Any proposed legislation believed to positively or negatively impact efforts to preserve communal land grants and their natural resources will be included in this category.
Land Use & Growth
This is another broad category that will include a large number of topics that fall under multiple issue areas. Any policy or legislation proposing changes to real estate and development law, planning and zoning powers, annexation authority, building construction, etc., will fall under this category.
All aspects of transportation policy, including road construction, public transportation, regulation of vehicle traffic, transportation fuels and more will be included under this category.
Mining has serious impacts on our air, land and water in New Mexico. Our state has been home to mines since the late 1800’s and this is an issue we deal with to this day. For example, the Roca Honda Uranium Mine has been proposed near sacred Mount Taylor, northeast of Grants. This would be the first operational uranium mine in New Mexico in decades.
Albuquerque from the air
Rows of houses line up on the east side of Albuquerque. The city has taken significant steps to control urban sprawl and limit the forming of geopolitical boundaries that many large cities suffer from. Photo: Brian Leddy
Related Votes for Land
- Air Quality
- Energy &
- Wildlife & Habitat
Environmental Review Act more
Summary: HB 206 would have required non-federal government agencies to consider the impacts of a state-funded project that may affect public health, ecosystems and the environment. The bill specified that environmental assessments must be done and provided for input from indigenous communities and the general public.
Outcome: HB 206 died on the calendar of the House State Government, Elections, and Indian Affairs Committee as sponsors were making technical changes to the bill.
Mining Permit Corporate Guarantees more
Summary: HB 255 required that financial assurance for mining operations must be filed by the original applicant and could not be a guaranteed by an affiliated corporation or person. The bill would have prevented the shifting of costs to affiliated entities who may have contested requirements for reclamation.
Outcome: HB 255 was pulled from the House Calendar and re-referred to the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee where it died on the calendar.
No Use of State Resources for Border Wall more
Summary: HB 287 would have prohibited the use of state trust lands or state financial resources to build a border barrier, exempting barriers that would prevent the movement of livestock. A border barrier would have extreme impact on the movement of wildlife and would be prohibitively expensive to the state to fund any aspect of its construction.
Outcome: HB 287 passed the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee and the House Judiciary Committee and died on the House Calendar.
Reduce Certain Oil & Gas Tax Rates more
Summary: HB 353 reduced the tax rate for oil produced from a low production “stripper” well by specifying the baseline cost of a barrel of oil used to calculate the rate at which it is taxed and reduced the tax on what is valued below that baseline. The oil and gas industry does not need additional tax payer funded tax breaks to be profitable.
Outcome: HB 353 was tabled and died in the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
Paul C. Bandy
Cathrynn N. Brown
Larry R. Scott
James R.J. Strickler
Oil Conservation Division Powers & Duties more
Summary: SB 186 would have allowed the Oil Conservation Division to, when responding to a violation of the Oil & Gas Act, issue a compliance order requiring compliance immediately or within a specified time period or assessing a civil penalty, or both. A compliance order may have also included a suspension or termination of the permit allegedly violated. It specified higher civil penalties for violation of the Act and specified penalties for the violation of a compliance order. It specified that a person knowingly violating the Act has committed a third degree felony. It further required the Oil Conservation Division to report on the number of violations annually.
Outcome: SB 186 died on the Senate Finance Committee calendar. However, its language and the policies it created were inserted into a House bill, which CVNM did not take a position on, and that bill passed both the House and Senate.
Richard C. Martinez
Create Outdoor Recreation Division more
Summary: SB 462 creates a division of outdoor recreation in the Economic Development Department. It establishes that the Outdoor Recreation Division will (1) increase outdoor recreation-based economic development, tourism and ecotourism; (2) work to expand outdoor recreation infrastructure; (3) assist in the promotion and marketing of outdoor recreation opportunities and events; (4) assist New Mexico residents in establishing outdoor recreation-based businesses and connecting them with economic development resources and opportunities; (5) recruit out-of-state based outdoor recreation businesses to locate in New Mexico; (6) promote stewardship and preservation of New Mexico's unique environment and cultural assets; (7) promote education and use of outdoor recreation assets to enhance public health; and (8) support outdoor recreation programs at New Mexico educational institutions. The bill also establishes the Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee, the Special Projects and Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Fund and the Outdoor Equity Grant Program and Fund.
Outcome: SB 462 passed the Senate 38-0 and passed the House 52-14. The bill was signed by the Governor on April 2, 2019.
Steven P. Neville
D. Wonda Johnson
Nathan P. Small
Know the Score > Take Action
Strategies for Land Use
Actions that protect land use:
New Mexico was one of the national leaders in driving the clean energy economy by adopting renewable energy standards — requiring utilities to generate a percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, like solar and wind. The standards were set at 10% by 2011, 15% by 2015, and 20% by 2020. As a result, our state’s clean energy industry has boomed, providing growing numbers of green jobs that pay well.
However, many other states have caught up with or exceeded our requirements, which is beginning to affect the health of our clean technology sector.
Actions that hurt land use:
No thank you!
In November 2011, Gov. Martinez’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB) — a board whose members are significantly aligned with polluting industries — began hearings to dismantle rules that would reduce New Mexico’s carbon pollution. Adopted after dozens of hours of public comment, expert testimony, and cross-examination, these rules aimed to create new clean energy jobs and combat climate change. In December 2011, the board voted to overturn the state’s participation in a regional cap-and-trade program; and in March 2012, it proceeded to also overturn the state’s carbon cap rule.
New Mexico Green Jobs Report: 2011, NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions
Communicate with the Governor and your Legislators
Whether you’re congratulating them on their score or expressing your disappointment, be direct, courteous and polite.
The most important part is letting them know that you are paying close attention to how they vote or, in the case of the Governor, what actions she takes on legislation that affects our air, land, and water.
Calling your legislator directly and sending letters through regular mail remain by far the most effective ways to communicate with your legislators.
The Governor and Lieutenant Governor can always be contacted at the State Capitol. Except during the legislative session, state legislators should be contacted in their home districts, as listed on the current Legislators page.