The Power to Influence

The Power to Influence

  • Post published:March 21, 2016
  • Post category:Issues

Even though one branch or another of government already owns roughly 47% of all land in NM, agencies like the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, National Park Service and the Department of Defense have taken ownership and/or control of hundreds of thousands of acres recently. But it’s not just the feds who voters need to reign in when it comes to keeping New Mexico’s land in New Mexican’s hands. Local government officials are also eager acquire more.

The NMBC takes every opportunity to stand up for New Mexicans: We support use of our lands in a way that protects the environment, respects natural species, but also provides reasonable private sector use of land. NMBC recently joined with other groups to petition the U.S. Fish and Wildlife to remove the South Western Willow Flycatcher from the list of endangered and threatened wildlife (Click Here and see page 14070). The power of NMBC’s member base makes a difference!

ABQ City Council Committee endorses new open-space legislation: The Albuquerque City Council will be hearing two open-space bills that the Land Use, Planning & Zoning Committee endorsed last week. One bill protects the acquisition of lands threatened by development, and the companion bill asks the city to establish objective criteria to guide future open-space purchases. The bottom line? More tax dollars are wanted to buy more land for government use. Read more here.

Las Cruces Comprehensive Plan will impact land use: The City of Las Cruces is in the process of updating its Comprehensive Plan, which includes land use over the next 25-30 years. There will be free “Neighborhood Workshops” detailing the plan from Tuesday, March 29 until Saturday, April 2. Find a meeting near you here.

Bernalillo County passed a property tax increase in 2014, raising $2.7 million a year for ‘open space acquisition.’ But there is a problem with acquiring property – there has to be money to improve/manage it. Read more here.

Does the extreme environmental protection agenda hurt our economy and job opportunities for New Mexicans? Yes! The following are just a few instances of the government taking away land for the protection of various animals, further restricting the ability for New Mexican land to be used by individuals and private enterprise job providers:

14,000 Acres Reserved for Mouse: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated almost 14,000 acres across three states as a habitat for the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse. Read more here.

The NM jumping mouse was added to the endangered species list in 2014, resulting in grazing restrictions on ranchers. This ruling is the latest of federal government intrusions that limit use of our land and hurt businesses. Watch the episode of “For The Record” that addresses the jumping mouse entitled “Losing Our Land” here, use password “southwest”.

Protection for Two Fish Considered: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is looking to protect two more fish that can be found in the Rio Grande. Petitions calling for protection for the fish claim that dams and irrigation have altered flows that have fragmented the fishes’ habitat. The Fish and Wildlife Service will begin a 12-month review to consider listing the fish under the Endangered Species Act. Read more here.

Voters have the power – elected officials work for you! It’s important for pro-business voters to be engaged in the process and understand that when government takes control of public land, it has an impact on taxes, access/use of private and public lands, availability of jobs and the overall health of our economy.

Rio Rancho Early Voting: Early Voting for Rio Rancho’s run-off election is set for March 23 to April 8 at Rio Rancho City Hall and Loma Colorado Main Library; Election Day is April 12. More information on the run-off election can be found here.

Get Involved: We encourage New Mexicans to get involved with your local and state officials and voice your rights against further restrictions on public/private land use and unnecessary government expansion.

It is critical to have responsible laws that do not excessively limit any industry from producing valuable resources and jobs while assuring the protection of our lands, water and air. Productive use of our lands while protecting the environment is achievable, but following an aggressive environmental agenda at any cost is neither wise nor productive.

Become a member of this great organization today – contact us for more information at (505) 836-4223, nmbiz@nmbizcoalition.org or join online today!