I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
Powell reverses White Peak land swap
State Land Commissioner Ray Powell reversed the controversial White Peak land swap that happened under the watch of former commissioner Pat Lyons. Powell’s decision Tuesday returned the northeastern New Mexico area to the State Land Office.
Powell previously halted three of the four land swaps in January. Tuesday’s actions brought an end to the final of the four deals involved in the controversial land swap.
The state Supreme Court halted the land swap earlier this year. Attorney General Gary King had challenged the swap, saying it violated the Enabling Act.
The land swap, with The Stanley Ranch, was opposed by sportsmen and then-Gov. Bill Richardson in 2009. The land is considered by sportsmen to be prime land for hunting.
The state’s highest court agreed. The Enabling Act created the Land Grant Permanent Fund when New Mexico became a state in 1912.
Powell campaigned on more openness in the State Land Office and cited the White Peak land swap as a questionable deal that he did not agree with.