Controversial hunting easement generates big bucks for New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A controversial hunting easement between the State Land Office and the Department of Game and Fish has appeared to have paid off.

In 2015, the State Land Office decided to increase the cost for use of state trust lands from $200,000 a year to $1 million a year.

As part of the deal, the Land Office has allowed some camping by hunters on trust lands and made sure more access points are available. The benefits have included more money from the State Land Office for education, hospitals and more.

“Of the $903,000 disbursement, $805,000 went directly into the public schools, which funds K-12 statewide,” said Laura Riley, Deputy Commissioner.

Hunting and fishing license fees have not increased due to the easement agreement, which was covered by a federal distribution received from taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.

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