- Associated Press - Friday, May 24, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The State Land Office is considering changes to rules that govern agricultural leases.

The agency has scheduled a Friday hearing in Santa Fe to take public comments on the proposed amendments, which would modify the requirements for applications to renew an agricultural lease.

Rather than requiring applicants to provide an antiquated appraisement form to capture the value of the land, the agency would look to existing formulas to determine value and rental fees.

The changes also would allow applicants to seek a re-evaluation of the carrying capacity for grazing land.

Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard says she’s been looking for ways to streamline the agency’s processes.

She says agriculture accounts for the agency’s largest geographical business operation, with about 12,750 square miles (over 35,612 square kilometers) of state trust land used for grazing.

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