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Land commissioner eyes federal land

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SANTA FE – New Mexico’s land commissioner wants to buy some federal land on behalf of the state in hopes that the property could generate revenue for state trust lands that help fund public schools and other institutions.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reported that the federal Bureau of Land Management is looking to sell thousands of acres that no longer meet the agency’s mission or are landlocked.

State Land Commissioner Ray Powell hopes to acquire some of the land, especially parcels along the interstates around Las Cruces and in the oil- and gas-rich Permian Basin of southeastern New Mexico. “We’re interested in high-value property that could be used for commercial purposes and would earn money for our beneficiaries,” Powell said.

Democratic state Sen. Michael S. Sanchez of Belen is sponsoring legislation to give the state Land Office $250,000 over the next two years to study the feasibility of BLM land acquisitions.

 

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