New Mexico Land and Water Conservation Fund Renewal Battle Looms

New Mexico Land and Water Conservation Fund pic
New Mexico Land and Water Conservation Fund

Geoffrey Scovil is a respected Albuquerque, New Mexico, indigent defense attorney who aggressively defends clients’ constitutional rights. Geoffrey Scovil enjoys the natural beauty of the Albuquerque area and supports the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance, which is committed to the designation and protection of wild lands throughout the state.

A major issue confronting state lawmakers is renewal of the 50-year-old Land and Water Conservation Fund, which expired in late 2015. Financed by energy companies that drill for oil and gas resources on the publicly owned Outer Continental Shelf, the fund provides money to acquire private land adjacent to protected lands. These range from wildlife refuges to national parks and forests. In 2014, the amount of money collected totaled approximately $900 million.

Over the decades, the fund also has been responsible for the protection of areas of historic and cultural significance. These include the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument and the Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Holding up fund reauthorization is the assertion by some in the state legislature that the money should be spent in other ways than federal land acquisition.


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