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US senator weighs in on New Mexico stream access fight – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-06-08 14:14:23 –

Albuquerque, New Mexico (AP) — US Senator Martin Heinrich is part of a long-running public debate in New Mexico …

Albuquerque, New Mexico (AP) — US Senator Martin Heinrich is part of a long-standing conflict in New Mexico over public access to rivers and streams on private land.

Democrats are aiming for rules adopted by the state’s Games Commission in 2018, with landowners deciding to state wildlife authorities that privately owned waters are “non-navigable” in writing. You can petition to ban public access without your permission.

The Committee will consider applying for a small number of landowners at a special meeting on June 18. Heinrich has requested that these applications be rejected.

In a letter sent to the Commission, Heinrich said that the New Mexico Supreme Court decades ago, a small stream in the state, the general public, unless people trespassed on private land by the waterways. Said that it had ruled that it was an accessible fishing stream. ..

“By this rule, the Commission has no room for wealthy landowners to manage all the streams, rivers and waterways of New Mexico,” he writes.

In a petition filed with the State Supreme Court last year, a coalition of outdoor groups argued that it was not the Commission’s responsibility to decide whether to classify waterways as “non-navigable.” Water policy and law. Is beyond that range.

The group argues that the New Mexico Constitution stipulates that the undiverted water of all streams in the state is public and that there is no difference in whether rivers and streams are navigable. ..

The court has not yet ruled on the group’s request to invalidate the Commission’s non-navigable rules.

Public access laws vary widely from state to state in the western United States. In Montana, courts have for many years expanded the public right to use steam across private lands. However, in Colorado, entry is prohibited without the permission of the landowner.

Next week’s special meeting in New Mexico was inspired by a ruling that the federal court required the Commission to take action on the application. The court accepted, rejected, or otherwise accepted the application. He said he had the discretion to take action.

Heinrich said landowners and commissions would not be prohibited from forcing law amendments to restrict access if the application was rejected.

Some of the Attorney Generals of the state have also spoken on this issue for years.

Most recently, New Mexico’s Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office sent a letter to the Commission in 2019 stating that any wording of the rules banning access to public waters was unconstitutional and unenforceable. I concluded.

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US senator weighs in on New Mexico stream access fight Source link US senator weighs in on New Mexico stream access fight

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