Sunday, January 10, 2010

Land swap: State poised to lose irreplaceable treasure--New Mexican

I have been keeping up with the proposed land swap that New Mexico Land Commissioner Pat Lyons is trying to complete in the Whites Peak area involving 40,000 acres of prime hunting land in northeastern New Mexico near Ocaté.

What a disgrace. Shame on this man. The sooner he completes his term in office, the better!

I highly commend local activist Max O. Trujillo of Las Vegas, who helped bring the proposed swap to our attention, state Rep. Brian Egolf, Gov. Bill Richardson, Edward Olona of the Wildlife Federation, former state Land Commissioner Ray Powell and all others who have worked to keep this land from disappearing under Lyon's watch.

In the 1970s or 1980s, the state of New Mexico had an opportunity to buy the Vermejo ranch northwest of Cimarron for $25 million. We missed out on the chance. When the state didn't buy it, Penzoil moved in and bought this wonderful land. New Mexico had the money. Today, this place is probably worth 100 times more.

I really don't blame the area's large-scale ranchers for trying to butter up Commissioner Lyons, if he is easy prey! The proposed land within the trade that would come to the ranchers is probably worth many more millions than Mr. Lyons is attempting to sell it for. This land is like gold to all nature lovers, whether they be birdwatchers, campers, hunters, sight-seers, hikers, etc....continued.......