ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – One southeast New Mexico county passed a resolution Thursday expressing their opposition to the governor’s 30 by 30 plan. The governor signed an executive order looking to protect 30% of New Mexico’s land and water by 2030. One county commission believe the governor’s plan could destroy the state economy and take people’s private land.
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“Whereas, the Chaves County Board of Commissioners opposes the use of global climate change as an excuse to set aside large tracts of land as preserved or open space to fulfill the 30 by 30 programs objectives,” said Will Cavin, Chaves County District 5 Commissioner, while reading the county’s resolution.
The county is worried about private landowners and how the president’s and governor’s p[lans might impact them.
“The board supports the continued private ownership of land in the county and recognizing the nation’s need for domestic resources of minerals, energy, timber, food and firewood,” Cavin read.
There is also a larger concern about where the land will be coming from. The county says the plan isn’t clear as to whether the land is coming from public land through out the state and country or coming from privately lots. Jeff Bilberry, District 3 Commissioner, says this isn’t fair to those who own that property.
“I mean we are in opposition to anything that jeopardizes any private land or private property rights even the rights of the citizens of Chaves County or the state of New Mexico. If they are going and coming on public lands, we don’t want those impeded,” Bilberry said.
The commission says the plan fails to recognize that the economy of New Mexico is dependent on the use of public lands. The New Mexico State Land Office manages trust lands that in 2020 generated a revenue of over $1 billion for the state. County Manager Bill Williams says this will impact more than what people expect.
“If they take a bunch of that land away and say well there is no more mineral exploration, there’s no more oil and gas, there’s no more other uses, there’s no more livestock grazing. What’s that do for our local economies? What’s that do for our state economy?” Williams said.
The board says that any lands should be acquired only from willing landowners and for the payment of full and fair market value. The Chaves County Commission passed a similar resolution after Pres. Biden created a similar executive order. KRQE News 13 called the governor’s office for a reaction to the resolution but did not hear back.