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Working with New Mexico Community Land Grants

The land grants currently recognized by the State of New Mexico are the Mexican land grants from the early to mid-1800s that were acknowledged in the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.  In 2004, New Mexico recognized land grants as local governments under state law, enabling them to regulate land uses on their common lands and to acquire state and federal funds for community development.  Specifically, the Legislature passed law recognizing land grants as political subdivisions of the State of New Mexico or local governments.

The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance is committed to working with all traditional communities throughout New Mexico. Acequia organizations and cattlemen associations are our key partners in current and future efforts around designating federal lands as National Conservation Areas, National Monuments, or Wilderness.

Our El Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area (NCA) proposal encompasses three land grants. In 2010, we succeeded in including language in the bills introduced to designate the NCA which explicitly protected and honored the land use rights of these traditional communities. Our staff continues to coordinate efforts between Congressional offices and the Land Grant communities.

Read more about land grants in New Mexico: New Mexico Community Land Grants (PDF format)