Sunday, December 08, 2013

Powell's Land Office

I have liked Ray Powell for many years.  He is a gentleman.  He is naturally not a boat rocker which is why so little reform has taken place at the State Land Office under his tenure.  But  he is honest and that is really important in that office of Land Commissioner.

However, I think his plan for trying to get more federal land from the Bureau of Land Management into state ownership is fraught with dangerous possibilities.  His basic assumption that the land will provide revenues is pie in the sky.  This million acres he wants will provide little in the way of revenue since the only use will possibly be for grazing.  Right now, at least, the Feds will have folks on the ground to oversee proper practices of the cowboys.  If the state were to receive the land then protection would disappear given that the land office has not more than 15 land specialists to oversee 13 million acres of mineral and surface estate.  Don't you know the cowboys would love no supervision?  The water implications are also very important.

It would be impossibly difficult for the state to get title to the mineral rights on that federal land. They probably aren't worth much, but the difficulty in transferring mineral rights will be hard to over come.

Also, this BLM land belongs to all Americans.  Not just New Mexicans.  It is in American's interest to keep title to these lands.  Especially since they could hold value for renewable energy at some time in the future.

Sorry Ray.  This whole thing seems little more than a campaign for reelection issue which has little chance of happening.  If you really wanted to make a difference for education funding then raise the grazing fees(after the drought ends) and charge maximum royalties on the dirty energy guys.  The economy is steaming up again and soon the time will be right for such a move.

1 comment:

Bubba Muntzer said...

That sounds like it would be a dangerous precedent, too. In some states if they could do that they'd go hog wild with that land.

Heck, if our mayor, Marion Berry ever got to be governor here. He wants to blacktop the bosque, put in parking lots, open up a Wal Mart and a McDonald's down there. Rent it out for a flea market and a drag strip.