State Land Commissioner Ray Powell talks about the role of his office:
New Mexico has been blessed in so many ways, one being our extensive non-renewable resources — oil, natural gas, coal, and potash — on our 13 million acres of public trust lands. The royalties from these non-renewable resources have helped educate every child in New Mexico, while keeping our citizens’ tax bills lower. Recently, the contribution from the trust lands and permanent fund to our public schools, universities, and hospitals has been $500 million per year.
New Mexico State Trust Lands have enormous potential to produce renewable energy from wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. Revenue from these reoccurring resources can eventually bridge and surpass the declining revenues from the non-renewable sources. The energy produced from these renewable resources can also be sold and transmitted to other parts of our country to provide the important energy resources needed for national economic prosperity and a sustained quality of life.
The State Land Office can play a pivotal role in these efforts by providing lands to locate renewable energy production facilities, transmission lines, and commercial sites for renewable energy technology research and production.
Our public lands also provide our quality of life that makes living in New Mexico such a unique and exciting adventure. Being able to hunt, fish, bird watch, and recreate on our public lands makes New Mexico a haven for all who love to be outside. Because of these public lands you don’t have to be rich to enjoy the outdoors.
It is this rich diversity of life that attracts most of us to this special place and that will provide future generations with the same quality of life that we have enjoyed.
As Aldo Leopold said “When we take care of the land, the land takes care of us.”