Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Land Office Malfeasance

Is the State Land Office under Commissioner Aubrey Dunn inching towards malfeasance?  One might think so as we watch Dunn stick it to the sportsmen and conservationists in this state.  He is attempting to raise the price for sportsmen to go on to state trust lands to hunt and fish.  A 500% increase has been laid down in order to increase the Land Office's revenue from such activities to around $2 million dollars.  There is no doubt that the Land Office must charge for such activities under the Enabling Act and Constitution.  500% is over the top.

Especially since Dunn  has made no effort whatsoever to raise the revenues that cowboys pay to graze their livestock on these same lands.  But Dunn fancies himself a cowboy and good ole boy, doesn't he?  The grazing fee has not been raised by any decent amount since I served as Land Commissioner back in the 80's and 90's.  The livestock boys really do own the land commissioner.  The total revenue gleaned from grazing is only $6 million a year on about 9 million acres of surface land.  And much of that is now in pretty good shape due to the wet spring and summer.  Think of it, 25 years with out an increase in grazing fees!  And in fairness, that goes for all of the Land Commissioners during that time period.  Commissioners who just did want the headache of extracting a fair market return on grazing lands because the cowboy's lobby is so strong.

And so for a few days of hunting the land office will gouge the Game and Fish Commission, while the real hard users on state land, the cowboys, get away with huge subsidies from the beneficiaries of the trust lands.  That would be the schools of New Mexico.


Anonymous said...

The Journal had a story about the cancer center kudos which are probably well deserved but the photo had Susie Martinez with Dr. Cheryl Willman -- Dr. Willman is the wife of former OMI director Ross Zumwalt.

I remember that Bill Richardson was also given the opportunity to make major announcements for the university but this really should have been announced by the UNM Medical School director Paul Roth. Oh wait, Paul Roth is too embedded in the Governor's corner to worry about little things like impartiality and independence.

Little known fact is that Dr. Roth is the boss of the OMI Chief that includes Dr. Willman and Dr. Zumwalt and current OMI Director, Kurt Nolte.

Remember when the UNM president said that Susie Martinez was instrumental in their university which led to a few professors walking?

Its incestuous.

Anonymous said...

Has any one notice that when you drive by UNM Children's Hospital on Lomas, the names of Bill and Barbara Richardson have been removed from the wall? Do you or any of your readers know why or if it was Susana who ordered it to be done? Another rumor is that Bill Richardson so hated Bruce King for firing him as State Director for the party that Richardson made it clear no state building would ever be named after Bruce King as long as he was Governor.