Representative Baldonado Says Preventing State Land Fee Increase Is About Saving The Game and Fish Industry

Posted On December 2, 2015

Representative Baldonado Says Preventing State Land Fee Increase
Is About Saving The Game and Fish Industry

 
Albuquerque, NM– For over 50 years, New Mexican sportsmen have been able to enjoy access to fishing and hunting across the state with minimal licensing fees. These activities are embedded into our state’s culture and have been for generations.

“As times and costs change, it is crucial for proper negotiations to take place to ensure reasonable costs, if any, are placed on hunters, anglers, and trappers to access public lands.  New Mexicans would expect their Land Commissioner to work to gain the most revenue from all public lands, in order to keep critical dollars flowing with reasonable actions,” says Representative Baldonado.

Representative Baldonado advocates that the State Land Office not push for higher land use access fees next year which he strongly believes could be detrimental to New Mexican sportsmen.  These fee hikes from the State Land Office would eventually be allocated to sportsmen who seek access to public lands for hunting, fishing, and trapping because NMDGF will be forced to cover the costs.

To safeguard the game and fish industry, as well as access to public lands for New Mexicans, Representative Alonzo Baldonado will be introducing legislation to ensure that hunting and fishing on public lands is guaranteed.  His proposal will create a simple constitutional amendment that would ban the practice of charging a fee for public land use for hunting, fishing, and trapping.

Representative Baldonado argues a change, by a minor adjustment to the constitution, allows us to preserve what New Mexicans have enjoyed for years.

Further background information is below:

State Land Office Pushes Higher Fees On the Department Of Game And Fish, Affecting Hunters And Fishers Across The State. “According to a news release from Commissioner Dunn, he and New Mexico Game and Fish Director Alexa Sandoval met and spoke about tentatively increasing the fee from $200,000 to $1 million in 2016 – 2017. That is a 500 percent hike in what Game and Fish currently pays to Public Lands.” (“NM Public Land Office Wants Increase In Fees From Game And Fish; Source Of Money Still Undecided,” kob.com, 10/15/15).

The Albuquerque Journal Reports Land Office Wants Continuous Fee Hikes For The Department Of Game And Fish Over The Next Few Years. “Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has suggested that the Department of Game and Fish be asked to pay as much as $5 million annually to secure access to state trust lands for hunters, anglers and trappers, according to emails obtained by the New Mexico Wildlife Federation…He has variously suggested $2 million for a year; $1 million for a year; $4 million over three years; and an alternative that would tie a long-term easement to a land acquisition deal in the White Peak area in northeastern New Mexico.”(“Land Office May Seek $5M For Hunting Access,” The Albuquerque Journal, 11/15/15).

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