I guess Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons’ true colors are coming to their true light. In spite of absolutely no public support, and no support from the governor’s office, the attorney general’s office and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish or its commission, Commissioner Lyons will shove the proposed land trades down our throats and negate all of the opposition to this travesty and move forward with his proposed deal with his friends.
Let’s not forget that this is the same man who just two years ago negated the U.S. Geological Survey, the New Mexico Department of Transportation, the U.S. Post Office, and of course the People of New Mexico who acknowledge State Road 199 connecting State Highway 120 near Black Lake and State Highway 21 near Miami New Mexico. Pat Lyons allowed a private landowner to place a fence right over this public road and claimed that the road never existed, in spite of acknowledgement from the aforementioned entities.
While nobody in the public is surprised at Commissioner Lyons’ actions, We The People implore the attorney general to take swift legal action and put a stop to this blatant malfeasance of office exhibited by Commissioner Lyons. Mr. Lyons was elected to office to be a good steward of public lands and represent the people of New Mexico and keep the best interest of the people of New Mexico at heart.
Mr. Lyons has claimed that this process has been transparent and that the public was adequately advised of the proposed land trade. This is a lie. Even the governor’s position sited that neither he nor any of his commissions would support a deal which has occurred in large part behind closed doors.
Our sister state to the west, Arizona has The Enabling Act, which prohibits public-for-private land trades especially when there is no benefit for the beneficiaries of public lands. If this was not an exclusive transaction, I don’t know what is.
There was a bidding process and, surprise, only one bidder, David Stanley. The next bidding will have only one bidder also, the Express UU Bar Ranch. The next Bid will only have one bidder, The CS Cattle Company. Wow, what a transparent process, Mr. Lyons.
I hear there are some pretty upset people in Doña Ana County also who feel like they have been “sold out.” What is the status of the mineral rights of the Public Trust Land that you will give Stanley? Or will there be oil and gas wells that will ensue? If the mineral rights convey with the real estate, and Stanley strikes oil and gas, how will you justify that? Mr. Lyons, you have threatened to yank the hunting privileges from the sportsmen and women in the White’s Peak area if this land trade is not consummated.
How can you justify that? Mr. Stanley knew what he was buying when he bought this ranch, he knew that there were scattered parcels which he would never be able control. Why is it so important to you that this man be granted so much of our cherished public trust land? Is this your way of paying the people of New Mexico back for the pie in your face when the New Mexico Supreme Court found for the people of New Mexico and upheld the decision to keep State Road 199 open from Miami?
Enough is enough. Mr. Lyons has misused his public office, and has become an advocate for private interests. He has time and again turned a blind eye and a deaf ear to the interests of the People of New Mexico.
Mr Lyons has not exhibited good stewardship or any ability at all to manage public trust lands. Every land transaction is marred with controversy and shrouded in mistrust. I am not an attorney, but it does not take an attorney to know that this is an illegal transaction, one that is punishable by law, one that Commissioner Lyons should be held accountable for. We have heard time and again from Commissioner Lyons that Public Trust Land does not belong to the public. Does it belong to Mr. Lyons? I think not.
Our children who attend our public schools and state universities are the beneficiaries of the public trust land. We The people are better stewards of public trust lands than Commissioner Lyons as we respect it, we cherish it, and we fight for it when it is threatened. Shouldn't those be your attributes as land commissioner, Mr. Lyons?
You have shown no wisdom, no compassion, no caring, or regard for the people of New Mexico, the legacy you leave behind will be a testament to your lack of respect for the people of this great state.
Max O. Trujillo II