Lack of Transparency: Business as usual at State Land Office

The New Mexico Independent launched this week and not a moment too soon for a hard news hungry public. Digging for the story behind the story, the Indie’s Majorie Childress looked into how the controversy about how the N.M. State Land Office handles its development leases.

Land Office explains why it enters into no-bid deals that benefit developers

When Childress inquired how one might go about inspecting the eighteen short-term planning development leases mentioned in a recent Albuquerque Journal article, the following extraordinary exchange took place: Continue reading


Lyons to King, “Make me!”

Is State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons playing with legal fire? Read the following for the backstory.

Albuquerque Journal

Only in New Mexico

Clearly New Mexico

Land Ho! The Lyons-Philippou Deal

O.K. folks, bear with me for a bit on the history review because I think we have to look more closely at the actions of the State Land Office.

The conditions under which New Mexico became the 47th state on January 6, 1912 are rather interesting. Land was the currency of the day and New Mexico had plenty of it.

The 1899 Ferguson Act and subsequent 1910 Enabling Act created the state land office and the position of Land Commissioner (first territorial land commissioner then state land commissioner). Due to the strict and highly specified provisions of the Enabling Act, the mission of the State Land Office could be distilled down to a simple matter of generating revenue for the state (mostly for education) from trust lands. Continue reading