- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 4, 2020

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - New Mexico wildlife officials and Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard have signed an easement agreement that will allow hunters with valid licenses to access state trust lands.

Under this year’s agreement, the New Mexico Game and Fish Department will pay the State Land Office $800,000 for the easement. Wildlife officials also agreed to partner with the land agency on $200,000 worth of projects aimed at enhancing access and improving wildlife habitats.

The agreement also creates pilot programs for dispersed and roadside camping as well as backpacking. The number of days hunters are allowed to scout on trust land also is being extended from 7 days to 14 days.

Garcia Richard said her agency has heard over the past year from sportspeople around the state about how to improve the hunting experience in New Mexico. She said the easement represents a starting point for addressing access concerns and conflicts that arise from mixed uses.

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