Land Commissioner-elect (apparent) Aubrey Dunn apparently shared my concerns about New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich’s statements made in his recent New York Times op-ed. Dunn fired off his own piece which appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican.
My response to Heinrich’s op-ed (penned alongside Carl Graham) has also appeared in several papers across the state.
It is good to see the newly-elected Land Commissioner take an early stand in support of New Mexico controlling more of its own lands. While current Land Commissioner Ray Powell endorsed the principle of New Mexico taking over certain federal lands, it was not a point of emphasis as it seems likely to be under Dunn. It will be interesting to see how Dunn, Gov. Martinez, and the Republican-led House tackle the issue in the months and years ahead.
3 Replies to “Land Commissioner-elect supports state/local land control, responds to Heinrich op-ed”
Land Commissioners and Governors in all Western States should present a combined effort to the BLM, Forrest Service and the Dept. Of the Interior to retake control of 90% of the lands the Federal government has appropriated. Some of the best coal in the US was taken off the table when Bill Clinton, with a swipe of a pen, appropriated it from Utah. The Organ Mountains is another example. Martin Heinrich and Tom Udall are two progressive lap dogs of obama. It is a shame the good people of NM are stuck with these two idiots who trample on the Constitution as much as their boss in the White House. Good luck to Aubrey Dunn.
We do not want to be like Texas in anyway, where there is no public land. Public lands are and have been important to New Mexicans even since Pre-Columbian days- for the many of the First Americans do not and did not recognize lands ownership, as is the European or at least English way. Manifest destiny was plain wrong and indeed the cruelest, evil and demented thing that ever happened in the Americas. All that it truly was, a greedy, more powerful nation preyed on a weak newly formed sovereign nation. Now that is and was not, something America should be proud of. Even US President Ulysses Grant felt it was a great misdeed and said so.
New Mexico since Spanish colonial days had what you called the kingdom’s lands, which were used in common. You could walk across, hunt, fish, and raise or graze your sheep wherever the pastures were greener, without barbed wire and “No Trespassing” signs came with the greatest land grab known yet, here. It seems the goal of this land state land control has one future objective and that is to sell off these Federal public lands. You will never get the majority of New Mexico’s common people who use these lands for recreational activities of many kinds and sometimes simply for enjoyment and the knowledge, that it is our there- protected from private invasion and truly the land of the free, to be tread upon as we may desire within the law. This land is also used by wild animals and also by cattle within reason and restrained from doing ecological damage. In ancient times mega-fauna controlled possible overgrowth, now cattle fill that role and that is fine. All living things and/or animals have a role or place in this world. Even the so called varmint, the prairie dog. Studies have shown prairie dogs control undesirable brush growth as they feed on the still tender roots.
I believe it was one of your speakers I heard, mentioning that New Mexicans are being kept from resources. I asked that person what and where those resources were and there was but silence. New Mexico is a very poor state. It is also very poor in water which would prohibit many things in the way of development. The truly rich mineral or even petroleum deposits were long ago discovered and some of the known ones are still being mined/extracted. We have wilderness which was declared and remains protected from man and his machines. We need protections of some lands and we have some of that in place and I believe the majority is pleased with the protections afforded, these. This state simply does not have the resources, nor expertise to do a better job over Federal agencies that are given oversight of the public lands.
Some folks were even blaming the federal government for the fires which affected different parts of the drought stricken land. I’m sorry, but this is nature and fires are and always will be, a part of the cycle of this world.
There are many who do not heed the logic and frequent warnings to keep vegetation, even dense tree stands, away from their structures and dwellings. While it is sad that destruction occurs, it is but a part of this living world. Lightning strikes are unpreventable and some fires are even man caused, though carelessness or sometimes accidentally or not.
In truth New Mexico taking over the public land is definitely not a solution to anything, but quite possibly, the worst decision that could ever be made for our beloved lands and certainly for your and my children and theirs, nor the future heirs of this land or earth!
I’m not sure where you are getting your information, but RGF is not opposed to public lands. We just want them to be managed by the state, not federal government. Washington is not doing a good job of managing our lands and yes, that includes fires due to lack of management and thinning.