Summary of 2020 Trust Fund Listening Sessions
In this open letter to New Mexico’s political leadership, WLA and our partners on the New Mexico Agricultural and Natural Resources Trust Fund Steering Committee present the results of our year-long series of listening sessions and stakeholder interviews in 2020 to shape the New Mexico Agricultural and Natural Resources Trust Fund.
There was broad agreement on the need for a permanent, statewide funding source for agricultural and natural resources projects in the state, and on the priorities for that funding and the ways the fund should be governed. Read the document to learn more.
New Mexico Agricultural and Natural Resources Trust Fund
New Mexico’s land and water form the foundation of our communities, and yet without investing in both, we risk our future and that of our children.
Our ancient acequias, water systems and watersheds face grave uncertainty under volatile climate scenarios;
New Mexico’s land base faces drought, soil erosion and lost productivity, while our forests grow increasingly vulnerable to catastrophic wildfire;
New Mexico loses an average of 50,000 acres of undeveloped land per year, threatening the future of our agricultural way of life, and resulting in increased habitat fragmentation for our states’ wildlife;
Two of New Mexico’s most important economic sectors, agriculture ($10 billion) and outdoor recreation/eco-tourism ($1 billion) are threatened by these impacts;
Our rural economies struggle to sustain vibrant communities, yet programs in similar states resulted in 15-24 local jobs created for every $1 million spent;
New Mexico could be capitalizing on millions of dollars of available Federal funding simply through the availability of state matching funds.
We seek to sustain and enhance New Mexico’s agricultural and natural heritage through stewardship, conservation and restoration of our forests, grasslands and watersheds; to provide for wildlife populations and habitats; and to ensure the continuation of agricultural production on working farms and ranches.
New Mexico needs to invest in its land and water resources in order to ensure the integrity and sustainability of our water supply, wildlife, agriculture, and wide-open spaces – all of which comprise our incredible and unique natural and cultural heritage recognized nationally and worldwide.
Even in the face of the COVID-19-driven economic recession and tough budget times ahead for New Mexico, establishing a trust fund and making a modest allocation to its endowment in the next legislative session is prudent. We estimate that millions of dollars could be leveraged by state investment at a 6:1 match ratio. Now is not the time for New Mexico to be leaving federal dollars on the table.
Help us prepare our campaign for next session. Share your NM Land and Water Story
Tell a personal story that illustrates why you support investment in New Mexico's land and water resources. In particular, we are excited to share stories of restoration success that demonstrate the potential of New Mexico's resources, when given just a bit more TLC.
Thank you to our broad coalition of supporters!
This list of supporting organizations continues to grow:
Adelante Consulting, Inc., Advocacy Matters LLC, Agri Nature Center Los Ranchos, Albuquerque Wildlife Federation, Alianza Agri-Cultura de Taos, American Forest Foundation, Amigos Bravos, Audubon New Mexico, Ballard Farm and Ranch, Berlier Farm and Ranch, Brinistool Ranch, Chama Peak Land Alliance, Chavez Ranch, Cimarron Mercantile LLC, Cimarron Watershed Alliance, Inc., Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, Cooperative Catalyst of New Mexico, Crawford Farms, CS Cattle Co., Defenders of Wildlife, Del Medio Forestry, LLC, Ducks Unlimited, Element Adept, Garduno Farm/Hondo Rancho, Global Water Policy Project, Grow The Hemp Shed, Guadalupe Feed Store, High Plains Grasslands Alliance, Holistic Management International, Hood Farm and Ranch, Hughes Hunting Services, Indian Nations Conservation Alliance, Keystone Restoration Ecology, Little River Flower Farm, Localogy, Mer-Girl Farms, LLC, Molino de la Isla Organics, LLC, Mule Deer Foundation, National Young Farmers Coalition, New Mexico Acequia Assocation, New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts, New Mexico Certified Tree Farm #2, New Mexico Land Conservancy, New Mexico Wild, New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc., Old Gem Farm, Quivira Coalition, Rio Chiquito Research & Consulting, Rio Grande Agricultural Land Trust, Rio Grande Restoration, Rio Grande Return, River Source Inc., Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, Santa Fe Conservation Trust, Save Our Bosque Task Force, Simms Ranch, Brazos Limited Partnership, Taos Land Trust, Taos Valley Acequia Association, The Wildlife Conservation Society-Rocky Mountain Program, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Tierra Bueno Gardens, Tooley's Trees and Keyline Design, Trout Stalker Ranch, Trout Unlimited, Twin Willows Ranch, Upper Pecos Watershed Association, Valle Vidal Grazing Association, Virsylvia Farm, Western Ecology, LLC, Western Landowners Alliance, Wild Turkey Sportsmen's Association, Wildlife Conservation Society.
What SB273/HB223 does
Permanent Trust Fund
Creates an endowment fund where only the accrued interest will be used to conserve and enhance land, water and habitat across New Mexico. The Coalition’s long-term vision is to see the Fund reach $400 million through a combination of surplus revenue from oil/gas and other sources of public and private funding.
Creates a Board representing different regions within the state and different areas of expertise to evaluate, rank and select projects to receive grants or other forms of funding from the interest of the Fund. The board would be required to periodically submit progress reports back to the Governor and Legislature.