Yesterday, I sent letters to the New Mexico Attorney General and the State Auditor asking them to look into the "White Peak Exchange" being done by the Land Commissioner. It's a swap of state trust land for private land that will take thousands of acres of prime hunting land out of the trust and place it into private ownership. This means New Mexicans will no longer be able to hunt there - a real loss to northern New Mexico. In exchange, the trust is getting flat grassland along a remote highway.
Today's Journal North covered the story. You can find the article HERE. And here:
Abqjournal North_ Rep. Ques..
My concern is that the Land Office appears to have done no real analysis to support its argument that this is a good deal for the trust. Congress set aside these land to generate income for the School for the Deaf, the School for the Blind and the seventeen other beneficiaries of the trust. Any transaction undertaken by the Land Office must be done only after a decision is made that the transaction benefits the beneficiaries. When asked directly, the Commissioner was unable to say how this benefits the beneficiaries and was unable to describe the analysis he conducted.
I believe that New Mexicans deserve to know why this swap is being done and why it is a good decision to give up pristine hunting land.
The letters are here:
Letter to Auditor Balderas
Letter to Attorney General King