Friday, March 14, 2014

Much Ado About Nothing

Governor Susana Martinez vetoed money that State Land Commissioner Ray Powell wanted to help with efforts in getting the Feds to turn over unwanted BLM lands to New Mexico.  He wants more lands to help fund early childhood education.

This is all meaningless.  The Feds won't just give land to the State Land Office.  They aren't allowed to do so.  They do participate in land trades.  That is the best route to follow.  And any lands that Powell might trade for would not be valuable and spin off any real revenue.  Except maybe lands around Dona Ana County and Santa Teresa.  And that land would be traded on a value to value basis. It wouldn't be a give away.

If Ray wants to continue his effort he should just tap his own State Land Maintenance Fund for the money he wants.  It is possible.  That is the way I got preliminary planning money for Mesa Del Sol in the early 80's.  No one in the legislature cared.  And it would be a shot across the Governor's Bow to challenge the immense constitutional powers of the Land Commissioner.  Probably not Ray's style and he has milked this pretty good for a campaign issue.

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