SENATE BILL 134
53rd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2018
Cliff R. Pirtle
RELATING TO PUBLIC LANDS; CREATING THE TRANSFER OF PUBLIC LANDS ACT; DEFINING PUBLIC LANDS TO BE TRANSFERRED FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO THE STATE; DEVELOPING A MECHANISM FOR THE TRANSFER OF FEDERAL PUBLIC LANDS TO THE STATE; CREATING THE PUBLIC LANDS TRANSFER TASK FORCE; DEVELOPING A PROCESS FOR THE TRANSFER OF PUBLIC LANDS FROM THE STATE TO LAND GRANTS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Transfer of Public Lands Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Transfer of Public Lands Act:
A. "net proceeds" means the proceeds from the sale of public lands, after subtracting expenses incident to the sale of the public lands;
B. "public lands" means lands within the exterior boundaries of this state except:
(1) lands to which title is held by a person who is not a governmental entity;
(2) lands owned or held in trust by this state, a political subdivision of this state or an independent entity;
(3) lands reserved for use by the state for education and internal improvements, as described in the provisions of the Enabling Act for New Mexico;
(4) lands within the exterior boundaries as of January 1, 2018 of the following that are designated as national parks or national historical parks:
(a) Carlsbad Caverns national park;
(b) Chaco Culture national historical park; and
(c) Pecos national historical park;
(5) lands within the exterior boundaries as of January 1, 2018 of the following national monuments managed by the national park service or the federal bureau of land management as of January 1, 2018:
(a) Aztec Ruins national monument;
(b) Bandelier national monument;
(c) Capulin Volcano national monument;
(d) El Malpais national monument;
(e) El Morro national monument;
(f) Fort Union national monument;
(g) Gila Cliff Dwellings national monument;
(h) Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks national monument;
(i) Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks national monument;
(j) Petroglyph national monument;
(k) Prehistoric Trackways national monument;
(l) Rio Grande del Norte national monument;
(m) Salinas Pueblo Missions national monument; and
(n) White Sands national monument;
(6) lands within the exterior boundaries as of January 1, 2018 of the following wilderness areas located in the state that, as of January 1, 2018, are designated as part of the national wilderness preservation system under the federal Wilderness Act:
(a) Aldo Leopold wilderness;
(b) Apache Kid wilderness;
(c) Bandelier wilderness;
(d) Bisti/De-Na-Zin wilderness;
(e) Blue Range wilderness;
(f) Bosque del Apache wilderness;
(g) Capitan Mountains wilderness;
(h) Carlsbad Caverns wilderness;
(i) Cebolla wilderness;
(j) Chama River Canyon wilderness;
(k) Cruces Basin wilderness;
(l) Dome wilderness;
(m) Gila wilderness;
(n) Latir Peak wilderness;
(o) Manzano Mountain wilderness;
(p) Ojito wilderness;
(q) Pecos wilderness;
(r) Sabinoso wilderness;
(s) Salt Creek wilderness;
(t) San Pedro Parks wilderness;
(u) Sandia Mountain wilderness;
(v) West Malpais wilderness;
(w) Wheeler Peak wilderness;
(x) White Mountain wilderness; and
(y) Withington wilderness;
(7) lands with respect to which the jurisdiction is ceded to the United States as provided in Sections 19-2-6 through 19-2-9 and 19-2-11 NMSA 1978 or under Clause 17 of Section 8 of Article 1 of the United States constitution;
(8) real property or tangible personal property owned by the United States if the property is within the boundaries of a municipality; or
(9) lands, including water rights, belonging to an Indian nation, tribe, pueblo, band or community that are held in trust by the United States or are subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States;
C. "task force" means the public lands transfer task force; and
D. "treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo" means the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States and the Republic of Mexico signed February 2, 1848.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] TRANSFER OF PUBLIC LANDS.--
A. On or before December 31, 2020, the United States shall:
(1) extinguish title to public lands; and
(2) transfer title to public lands to the state.
B. If the state transfers title to any public lands with respect to which the state receives title under Paragraph (2) of Subsection A of this section, the state shall:
(1) retain five percent of the net proceeds the state receives from the transfer of title; and
(2) pay ninety-five percent of the net proceeds the state receives from the transfer of title to the United States.
C. In accordance with Article 12, Section 2 of the constitution of New Mexico, the amounts the state retains in accordance with Paragraph (1) of Subsection B of this section shall be deposited into the permanent school fund.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] PUBLIC LANDS TRANSFER TASK FORCE.--
A. The "public lands transfer task force" is created. The task force shall be composed of the following members:
(1) four members of the legislature, two from each chamber, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate;
(2) the commissioner of public lands or the commissioner's designee;
(3) the secretary of energy, minerals and natural resources or the secretary's designee;
(4) the state forester or the state forester's designee;
(5) the director of the state parks division of the energy, minerals and natural resources department or the director's designee;
(6) the secretary of general services or the secretary's designee;
(7) the state treasurer or the state treasurer's designee;
(8) the secretary of transportation or the secretary's designee;
(9) the secretary of cultural affairs or the secretary's designee;
(10) the secretary of finance and administration or the secretary's designee;
(11) the secretary of Indian affairs or the secretary's designee;
(12) the chair of the land grant council or the chair's designee; and
(13) the executive director of the New Mexico association of counties or the executive director's designee.
B. The co-chairs of the task force shall be the commissioner of public lands or the commissioner's designee and the secretary of energy, minerals and natural resources or the secretary's designee.
C. The legislative council service, the state land office and the energy, minerals and natural resources department shall provide staff for the task force.
D. The task force shall hold its first meeting on or before October 1, 2018, shall meet regularly and shall report annually to the legislature with an update on the progress the task force has made concerning facilitating the transfer of public lands to the state. Staff for the task force shall meet before the first meeting of the task force to prepare for that meeting.
E. The task force shall report at least one time during the interim to the legislative finance committee and to any interim committee created by the New Mexico legislative council to consider Native American affairs, land grant issues, water and natural resources or economic and rural development. The task force shall promptly agree to any request for a report to any other interim legislative committee that desires an update on its work.
F. The task force shall take testimony from representatives of a wide spectrum of groups, including environmental organizations, farmers, hunting and fishing organizations, ranchers and outdoor sporting organizations, before proposing any legislation.
G. During the 2018 interim, the task force shall prepare proposed legislation:
(1) creating a public lands commission to:
(a) administer the transfer of title of public lands to the state;
(b) address the management of public lands and the management of multiple uses of public lands, including addressing managing open spaces, access to public lands, local planning and the sustainable yield of natural resources on public lands;
(c) establish a Valles Caldera state preserve to manage the lands within the exterior boundaries of the Valles Caldera national preserve managed by the national park service as of January 1, 2018; and
(d) approve land claims submitted under Section 5 of the Transfer of Public Lands Act and manage the transfer of lands for approved claims;
(2) establishing actions that shall be taken to secure, preserve and protect the state's rights and benefits related to the United States' duty to have extinguished title to public lands, in the event that the United States does not meet the requirements of the Transfer of Public Lands Act;
(3) making any necessary modifications to the definition of "public lands" in the Transfer of Public Lands Act, including any necessary modifications to the lists provided in Paragraphs (4) through (6) of Subsection B of Section 2 of the Transfer of Public Lands Act;
(4) making a determination of or a process for determining interests, rights or uses related to:
(b) geothermal resources;
(d) land grants;
(f) natural gas;
(i) rights of entry;
(j) special uses;
(l) water; or
(m) other natural resources or other resources; and
(5) determining what constitutes "expenses incident to the sale of public lands" described in Subsection A of Section 2 of the Transfer of Public Lands Act.
H. During the 2018 interim, the task force shall study and determine whether to prepare proposed legislation:
(1) administering the process for:
(a) the United States to extinguish title to public lands;
(b) the state to receive title to public lands from the United States; or
(c) the state to transfer title to any public lands the state receives in accordance with the Transfer of Public Lands Act;
(2) establishing a prioritized list of management actions for the state and the political subdivisions of the state to perform on public lands:
(a) before and after the United States extinguishes title to public lands; and
(b) to preserve and promote the state's interest in: 1) protecting public health and safety; 2) preventing catastrophic wildfire and forest insect infestation; 3) preserving watersheds; 4) preserving and enhancing energy and the production of minerals; 5) preserving and improving range conditions; and 6) increasing plant diversity and reducing invasive weeds on range and woodland portions of the public lands;
(3) establishing procedures and requirements for subjecting public lands to property taxation;
(4) establishing other requirements related to national forests, national recreation areas or other public lands administered by the United States; and
(5) addressing the indemnification of a political subdivision of the state for actions taken in furtherance of the Transfer of Public Lands Act.
I. The task force may study any other issue related to public lands as determined by the task force.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] LAND GRANTS--SUBMISSION AND EXAMINATION OF PETITIONS--REPORT.--
A. Within two years of the enactment of the Transfer of Public Lands Act, any entity that is managed as a land grant under Chapter 49 NMSA 1978 and wishes to receive a transfer of public lands to reacquire its historic lands that were protected under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo shall submit a petition to the land grant council.
B. A petition submitted under Subsection A of this section shall be signed by the officers of the entity, be notarized and contain the following:
(1) the names, titles and addresses of the officers of the entity submitting the petition;
(2) the date of the original grant of land to the entity from the government of Spain or the government of Mexico;
(3) the extent of the lands claimed, including any surveys or maps of the land; and
(4) all facts known by the petitioners concerning the claimed land, including copies of all relevant documents.
C. Beginning in August 2018, within the first week of each month through July 2020, the land grant council shall compile a list of the petitions made under this section and provide copies of each petition and supporting documents to the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty division of the office of the attorney general and to the land grant studies program at the university of New Mexico.
D. The Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty division of the office of the attorney general and the land grant studies program at the university of New Mexico shall jointly:
(1) examine each petition submitted under this section and create a report evaluating each petition's strength of documentation and any recommendations for supplementation; and
(2) every six months beginning in January 2019 and ending in January 2021, provide a report to the task force regarding the number of petitions reviewed, the number of acres claimed, the locations of the claimed lands and recommendations for approval of individual claims or recommendations for a general approval process for claims.
SECTION 6. TEMPORARY PROVISION.--The public lands transfer task force is terminated on July 1, 2021.
SECTION 7. SEVERABILITY.--If any part or application of the Transfer of Public Lands Act is held invalid, the remainder or its application to other situations or persons shall not be affected.
SECTION 8. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2018.
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