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Berrendo Ranch Socorro County, NM 7,520 Deeded Acres

Riddel Ranch-1


The Riddel Ranch is in Stonewall County, TX and is comprised of approximately 10,295 acres. The ranch is located near Aspermont and has several miles of highway frontage, as well as access by several county roads. The ranch is an excellent combination of native pasture and cultivated fields, with live water in two creeks and numerous large ponds and dirt tanks. The ranch is considered to have excellent cover for wildlife. The southern portion of the property is generally level and slightly sloping with a moderate to dense canopy of mesquite. As you transition north, cedar becomes more prevalent and the terrain becomes more broken. Rock Creek heads on the ranch and flows in a northeasterly direction through approximately two miles of the ranch. Another live creek flows through the northern portion of the property for approximately two miles.

The ranch is in fantastic condition with a tremendous grass turf. Many of the large earthen tanks have been cleaned out in recent years and hold water well.

The Riddel Ranch is a fantastic offering and would be very suitable for subdivision. The highway frontage and county road access makes for a very desirable property for an investor.

Riddel Ranch Topo MapRiddel Ranch Aerial Map

Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo: Introducing: Under One Fence – The Waggoner Legacy

By New Mexico State Land Office – Agricultural Leasing Fee Schedule
How Does the Fee Formula Work for Agricultural Leasing on State Trust Lands?

New Mexico State Land Office – Aubrey Dunn Land Commissioner

The current fee calculation for agricultural leases was implemented in 1988. The fee formula takes into account a wide variety of factors which include the previous year’s rates by western livestock ranchers, beef cattle prices, and the cost of livestock production.

When cattle prices decline and the cost associated with livestock production increases, the grazing fee will decrease in response to these market conditions. Also, when forage is in demand by ranchers, it will tend to increase the grazing fee index and result in a higher grazing fee. These price rates are used to determine the fee formula.

Adjustment factors adjust state trust land grazing fees up or down depending on value of forage and economic conditions in the western livestock industry. The adjustment factor adjusts fees relative to a 1978-1987 base period, and there is a one-year lag between when the data are collected by USDA and when they are reported. Indices used are for 11 western states.

According to NMAC, the annual rental for grazing land is determined by this formula:

$0.0474 (Base Value)  x  Carrying Capacity (CC)  x  Acreage  x  Economic Variable Index (EVI)

The EVI is the ratio of the value of the State Land Office Adjustment Factor (SLOAF) for the current year to the SLOAF for the base year 1987, or 135 (i.e.; SLOAF ÷ 135)

The SLOAF is determined based on the following three indices described in the Public Rangelands Improvement Act (PRIA), and published annually by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Forage Value Index (FVI)[1]:  A derived index of the relative change in the previous year’s average monthly rate per head for pasturing cattle on privately owned land in the West.

Beef Cattle Price Index (BCPI)[2]:  An index of the weighted average annual price for beef cattle, excluding calves, for a given western state area as compared with a specific base period equal to 100.

Prices Paid Index (PPI):  An index that measures changes in the prices paid for goods and services used in crop and livestock production and family living.

Since the formula was implemented in 1988, it has seen many increases and decreases depending on livestock prices, costs and private lease rates.

CLICK HERE to see a comparison between agricultural leasing on State Trust Lands and Bureau of Land Management.

If you would like more information, please contact the State Land Office, Surface Resources Division at (505) 827-5842.


Top cowboys announce ERA Rodeo

By Chelsea Toy (Spin To Win)

By the time you read this post, you’ve likely seen top cowboys posting about ERA Rodeo across Facebook. If you’ve missed it, it’s a new association looking to host 15 rodeos, promising just the top talent in the industry across the country with a world championship in Dallas in 2016.

“It’s about a different opportunity for the sport with the best guys going against each other every time,” said Clay Tryan, three-time heading world champion.

Long-time rodeo sponsorship guru Tony Garritano is at the helm as president and CEO.

“We felt there needed to be a concentrated focus on the best guys in the world,” Garritano said. “There needed to be a way to showcase the best talent in the world and there isn’t one currently…by maximizing that, I believe we can help rodeo overall. If you showcase the best guys in the world, and they broaden the platform of the sport and increase sponsorship, over time more people will want to participate in the sport. If 1,000 new people get involved, and only 10 will make it to the best level, the other 990 will go to other tours and associations throughout the rodeo industry and help it grow.”



State Land Office Announces 2015 Grazing Fees


Santa Fe, NM (March 3, 2015) Today, Commissioner of Public Lands Aubrey Dunn announced the 2015 grazing fees on state trust lands would be set at $4.80 per animal unit month (AUM), to take effect Oct. 1, 2015. The 2014 fee was $3.99.

Grazing fees on state trust lands are set by the Commissioner, using a formula determined by New Mexico State University, after considering market conditions. This year, NMSU determined the fee per AUM would be increased by 20.25 percent. Federal grazing fees also increased this year by 25.18 percent per AUM on public lands.

The increase will raise the total income to state land trust beneficiaries to $8.08 million. Total lands included in the agricultural leasing program are 8,746,502 million acres.

“We are seeing record-high cattle prices and that, with the forage availability of our state lands, has resulted in an increase in grazing fees,” said Commissioner Aubrey Dunn. “The increase in income will go directly to fund our public schools and higher education in New Mexico.”

The New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands is an elected state official responsible for administering the state’s land grant trust. Thirteen million acres of land were granted to New Mexico in 1898 and 1910. Each tract is held in trust for the public schools, universities, as well as special schools and hospitals that serve children with physical, visual, and auditory disabilities.




NM Trout Fishing Rivers

Dispelling the opposition’s misgivings to HB 235 and SB 226 (Use of Public Water and Landowner Protection)

On the heels of a recent article published Monday by the Taos News we feel it necessary to try and set the record straight regarding the stream access legislation currently moving through the 2015 NM Legislature.

House Bill 235 (currently located on the House Floor) and Senate Bill 226 (located in the Senate Judiciary Committee) are titled Use of Public Water and Land Owner Protection. These two bills are identical in language and purpose.

The bills were introduced in response to former Attorney General Gary King’s written opinion released in April of 2014 which stated that in his opinion an individual would be within their right to access public waters on private lands, for the purpose of recreation, by walking up any waterway.  This opinion was in total contradiction to the current practice of the fishing industry.  The issue has been further confused by the New Mexico Wildlife Federation’s, all but encouragement, for fisherman to look to the AG opinion to direct their actions rather than the current law.  For the last approx. 35 years anglers have been required by New Mexico Dept. of Game & Fish law to obtain written permission from the private landowner in order to recreate on the waters located within the private lands.

Below are the New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guide’s responses to a list the common misunderstandings regarding the bill as well as the current regulations of the fishing industry.

          RUMOR:  The AG opinion does not hold the weight of law and therefore this legislation is unnecessary

          FACT:  Most people do not understand that an AG opinion does not hold the weight of law. This confusion has been further perpetuated by the New Mexico Wildlife Federation in their print and verbal communications which have stated “for decades New Mexico anglers have been told they could not fish or wade in any waters…but that long-held idea, that streams that run through private land can be fenced off, turns out to be wrong.”  Statements such as this are basically encouraging anglers to trespass.  Landowner/angler conflicts are likely to occur because of the confusion surrounding the AG opinion vs. existing NMDGF regulation. This legislation seeks to prevent potential conflicts by codifying the existing practice of the fishing industry into statute.     

          RUMOR:  This bill will effect a large percentage of waterways in NM

          FACT:  Approximately 70% of the waters of NM are already located on public land.  This legislation only refers to the 30% of waterways that are located on, or flow through, private lands. It is important to also remember that this legislation only deals with the recreational access of waters. The passing of this legislation would not circumvent any right to manage waterways on private lands as has been determined by the Corp of Engineers or Office of the State Engineer.

          RUMOR:  This bill will prevent anglers from accessing their favorite fishing hole on private land.

          FACT:  It is currently the requirement of the New Mexico Dept. of Game & Fish that you obtain written permission of the landowner in order to fish on private land. This legislation would only codify this existing practice. Individuals who are currently fishing on private land without landowner permission are already breaking the law. We should not be giving preferential consideration to the concerns of individuals who are currently breaking the law. It’s safe to assume that if they are already law breakers, they will continue to do so regardless of any laws passed by NM legislators.

          RUMOR:  This bill would prevent float access and portage. 

          FACT:  There is a specific provision in the bill regarding the right to floating access (page 4, line 20). Nothing in the bill would prevent floating access and any “incidental contact”. Examples of this would include falling out of the boat, or the need for portage due to a shallow area of river. The bill also does not circumvent any existing easements provided by landowners to provide float access through areas of private land.

          RUMOR:  This bill will prevent anglers from accessing fishing on private land where they have fished legally for years

          FACT:  The bill does not circumvent any existing easements provided by landowners to allow fishing on private land. For example, there are stretches along the Pecos, Chama, and Rio Brazos where landowners have filed easements to allow anglers to access the river located within private land. These easement would not be dissolved with the passing of this legislation.

          RUMOR:  The NM Supreme Court case sited in the AG opinion clearly allows for walking, wading, or standing in stream beds (Game Commission vs Red River Valley)

          FACT:  The Red River case (1945) refereed to a situation where a mostly privately owned lake could be accessed, by boat, from a waterway located on public land. The case dealt exclusively with an individuals right to access water without touching the stream bed. The case never mentioned walking, wading, or standing and only mentioned the touching of a stream bed as it referred to “incidental contact”. The case determined that because the waters of NM are owned by the public hence the public should be able to access the lake if it can be accessed without trespass. The Red River case did not define access as it relates to walking in stream beds.

          RUMOR:  Giving the State Game Commission the ability to determine navigability is dangerous and unnecessary

           FACT:  Former AG King’s opinion has created a situation where the ownership of stream beds is now in question. Up until this point the stream beds have been the property of the private landowner. Because that fact is now in question, we need a state agency to determine stream bed ownership in regards to recreational access to waters. It makes sense that the State Game Commission would be the agency to determine ownership due to the fact that they are already tasked, in statute, with regulating the taking of fish.

          RUMOR:  Determining navigability based on US Supreme Court law will close access all NM waters on private land

           FACT:  In 2012 the US Supreme Court ruled that navigability, and thus stream bed ownership, should be determined based on the water’s commerce ability at statehood. Therefore if a water is determined as navigable the stream bed ownership remains with the state. If the water is determined as non-navigable the stream bed ownership resides with the private landowner. A NM territorial Governor stated in 1902 that none of NM’s waters were navigable and therefore with the passing of this legislation private stream beds would be deemed the property of the private landowner. This is important because it is the reason why the State Game Commission needs to be tasked with the ability to determine the recreational use of a waterway (except those with an existing public access easement filed by the landowner).  So that, for example, people can continue to float down the San Juan or Upper Rio Grande through private property where an easement does not already exist.

          RUMOR:  A determination of navigability can be overturned with each newly appointed State Game Commission

           FACT:  Under this legislation all waters would begin as non-navigable and would thus prevent individuals from walking up a dry ditch bed to access a dirt tank on private property.  With the passing of this legislation the State Game Commission would immediately need to give access to those waters that are obviously navigable (San Juan, Upper Rio Grande, portions of the Pecos, etc…). Further applications for navigability may be brought forth by a landowner or individual with a desire to provide public access to waters on private lands. Determinations could not be overturned with a newly appointed Game Commission without going through a full legal appeal process as is the case with many laws foisted to be regulated by state agencies.

          RUMOR:  New Mexicans have a constitutional right to walk up a stream bed to access fishing

           FACT:  The NM constitution states that the waters of NM are owned by the public. The constitution does not say anything about the ownership of the stream beds. Currently  stream beds are considered the property of the landowner per NM County records.  All NM stream beds that run through private property are currently being assessed by each County as being owned by the private landowner and the landowner thus pays taxes on all of the land including the stream bed encompassing the water.

          RUMOR:  Montana allows wading access to waters on private land so New Mexico should too

           FACT:  There are many reasons why a regulation that is good for one state might not be good for another.  It is true that Montana allows wading access to the “high water mark” (the point to which the river flows at seasonal flood stages).  However, aside from the fact that Montana has far more water than NM, they also do not have a monsoon season creating season flow waterways. To implement the Montana stream access laws in NM would in essence be giving the public access to stream beds that might be completely dry for 90% of the year.

In Conclusion: In a perfect world the quality of the waters on the private and public land would be exactly the same.  It is an unfortunate situation that in New Mexico the quality of the waters on the private lands are far superior to the waters located on the public lands.  Private landowners in New Mexico have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve and restore the stream beds and riparian areas along the waterways located on private lands. However, a lack of personal responsibility for the public waters has created a situation where, in many areas, public riparian areas are unfortunately abused to the detriment of the stream. This is the reason why the private land waters are so heavily desired to be recreated upon by the public as opposed to the public land waterways.

The responsible stewardship efforts implemented and paid for by our private landowners should not be undermined.  This legislation would allow for the industry to continue to operate is it has for many decades and would also continue to maintain the incentive provided to landowners to continue the upstanding conservation practices currently benefiting all of New Mexico’s stream life.


Written by: Kerrie C. Romero – Executive Director of New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides www.nmoutfitters.com

Please tell your legislator to support HB 235 and SB 226

Beautiful Vistas

NM Rivers


NM House Bill 235 to the Rescue of Private Property Fishing Rights

2-15-2015  In 2014, former New Mexico Attorney General Gary King released an opinion stating that he believed recreational fishing across private land in NM streams where public access was provided to the stream bed was legal. The key was an angler had to stay within the banks of the river itself and access to lands out of the streambed was not legal where property was legally posted under NM statute and the fisherman knowingly entered without permission.

In 2015, in the 52nd State of NM Legislature, a bill was introduced to curtail this activity. The bill is known as HB235 and a companion bill was introduced on the senate side known as SB266. There are constitutional issues that are being sorted out regarding this legislation as we write. However, the intent of the new legislation is to make this type of activity illegal where landowners want to protect their rights against trespassing.

The ability for recreational fisherman to fish streams crossing private property is no doubt a game changer in several arenas. One landowner stood up in committee and indicated his banker was none too happy and if his ability to pay the loan tanked because his fishing operation failed, the note would be called. No telling if there would be an affect on land values and if this situation does not get resolved, title companies may see claims popping up all over the place.

We will let you know if the legislation gets the nod from the Governor.


Update!  2-24-2015

This bill squeaked through the house judiciary with a 7-6 do pass vote yesterday. It will go on the house floor for vote in the next few days. The problem will be in the Senate where the “d’s” still have the majority rule.

If this bill fails in the Senate and does not make it to the Governor, the next step is for a lawsuit against a trespasser to set case precedent. This process is also political in that it must be heard in a court that values private rights of ownership.

I still expect to see something happen from a title company claim standpoint. These guys are claiming ownership of the streambed which is included in deeds and insured by title co’s.

The battle roars on….








Jim Welles has officially joined the ranch brokerage team at Chas. S. Middleton and Son

Jim Welles has officially joined the Chas S. Middleton team as of January 1st. Jim brings over 33 years of New Mexico Farm and Ranch experience to us. His collateral appraisal and banking experiences will be able to assist owners and prospective owners in their decisions affecting their properties marketing and valuation decisions. Jim also brings extensive experience in New Mexico’s hunting environment and the state’s wildlife management system. He has served as a director of the NM Council of Outfitters and Guides and was recently elected to a 3 year term as the president of the organization.

Jim began his career with the Federal Land Bank in Roswell in 1981. Transferring to Albuquerque in 1982, he worked as a loan officer and appraiser until 1990 when he choose to focus on the appraisal side of the bank now known as Farm Credit. He was awarded his ARA designation in 1990. Jim retired from Farm Credit of NM December 31, 2014, ending his career as the Chief Appraisal Officer for the company; a position he held for 10 years. He and 12 other staff members provided quality valuation services to lending personnel serving the customers of the largest and most profitable ag lender in NM. He was responsible to the Board of Directors to assure regulatory compliance with all Federal, State, and appraisal organizations affecting valuation operations.

Over the years, Jim has worked with Sam on many occasions. Both have unique experiences to share with new and old clients. Jim will be working directly with Charlie Middleton, Sam’s son. As a fourth generation Middleton, Charlie has real estate in his genes and the technological expertise to pull it all together for expert marketing of your unique New Mexico property.

Jim Welles Bio

Jim grew up on the east side of New Mexico in Roswell after his father retired from his Army career to assume the job of Assistant Commandant at NMMI in 1965. His upbringing included many summer jobs repairing pasture fence and bucking hay for ag producers in the Roswell area. He graduated from high school at NMMI in 1977 and NMSU in 1981. Jim began his career with the Federal Land Bank in Roswell in 1981. Transferring to Albuquerque in 1982, he worked as a loan officer and appraiser until 1990 when he choose to focus on the appraisal side of the bank now known as Farm Credit. He was awarded his ARA designation in 1990. Jim retired from Farm Credit of NM December 31, 2014, ending his career as the Chief Appraisal Officer for the company; a position he held for 10 years. He and 12 other staff members provided quality valuation services to lending personnel serving the customers of the largest and most profitable ag lender in NM. He was responsible to the Board of Directors to assure regulatory compliance with all Federal, State, and appraisal organizations affecting valuation operations.

Jim has served on various committees in the New Mexico Chapter of the ASFMRA and served as President of the Chapter in the late 80’s into the early 90’s. He served several years on the Experience Review Committee for the newly formed NM State Appraisal Board in the early 90’s. Jim is a general certified appraiser and is licensed in both New Mexico and Colorado. He is a member of the NM ASFMRA and an Associate member of the Rio Grande Chapter of the Appraisal Institute.

Jim has had the privilege to view and appraise many of New Mexico’s vast real estate holdings whether farms or ranches over his career. Jim also served as the Farm Credit representative to the Landowner-Sportsman Coalition in NM. His big game hunting experiences in New Mexico allowed him and his wife Kelly to start a small hunting business in the mid 90’s. This business has grown and he now serves as President of the NM Council of Outfitters and Guides.

Jim passed his New Mexico Associate Brokers exam in December 2013. He and Kelly live in far NE Albuquerque. They have raised two daughters whom are now married. Michelle is a District Manager for Frito Lay in Denver. Clara is a 7th grade middle school Science Teacher in Las Cruces.

Jim’s base will be in Albuquerque. Charlie and Sam will continue managing operations from their Lubbock office. We are ready to assist in any and all of your real property decisions. Jim can be contacted at Jim@csmandson.com. Charlie’s contact is Charlie@csmandson.com and Sam’s is sam@csmandson.com. We all look forward to hearing and working with you soon!

For more information, visit Jim Welles website: JFW Ranch Consulting

This exceptional ranch is located in the heart of northern New Mexico, just west of Chama, in beautiful Rio Arriba County. The property is positioned along a major migration route for elk and mule deer heading out of the Colorado high-country toward wintering grounds in Northern New Mexico. The northern boundary of the ranch is less than one-half mile from the Colorado State Line.

Elevations on the ranch range from approximately 7,800 feet to over 9,800 feet near the northwest side of the property. The property offers scenic panoramic views of the productive meadows, timbered forest lands, snow-capped mountain peaks in nearby Colorado, and the beautiful Chama Valley.

Topography is diverse, with the southern portion of the ranch offering open, grassy, rolling and hilly country with scattered canopies of Ponderosa Pine and Mountain Oak. As elevations increase, the south-central and eastern boundaries of the ranch become much more mountainous, with several pronounced canyons draining to the lower country. These rugged and timbered mountain slopes and ridges have sand stone rock outcroppings throughout, with timber cover increasing with elevation. Oak, Pine, Spruce, Fir, and Quaking Aspen can be found throughout the ranch.

The central portion of the property is a wide, lush, creek bottom meadow that elevates to higher mountain country on the east portion of the ranch and also along the Continental Divide to the west.

The ranch is very well watered by Willow Creek, numerous tributaries, many mountain springs, and over 25 earthen ponds. The larger ponds are stocked with trout.

Willow Creek provides the major drainage through the ranch. The creek’s headwaters begin in the northern portion of the property and drain in a south to southeasterly direction throughout the entirety of the ranch.

Additional sources of water include five permitted water wells. One of the wells reportedly produces approximately 80 gallons per minute.

Access to the ranch is by paved highway frontage.

Hunting throughout this region of New Mexico is spectacular. Native elk and mule deer grow to Boone and Crockett size. The number of elk permits issued by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is governed by a Special Management Plan. Currently, the ranch receives 63 bull elk rifle permits and 24 bull elk bow permits. Northern New Mexico offers some of the greatest fishing opportunities in the country and trout fishing in the major ponds on the ranch is an added benefit.

An 8 foot high game fence area containing approximately 2,000 acres is constructed in a very rugged mountainous portion of the eastern side of the property. The New Mexico Game and Fish Department granted the ranch a Class A Game Park Permit, which allows the ranch to raise their own private elk herd within the high fenced park. Domestic elk were shipped in from Colorado and currently there are approximately 519 privately owned elk located within the park. The advantage of a Class A Game Park is that the owner may decide his own hunting seasons and harvesting rates within the confines of the park.

A large, partial two story, hunting lodge is located in the southern portion of the ranch. The lodge features 11 bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, along with a commercial kitchen and large great room.

Additionally, a 10,000 square foot barn houses the elk handling facility which is used for artificial insemination of the private elk herd. This first class set of handling pens is equipped with a hydraulic chute, sorting pens, alleys, and a maze of overhead cat walks for ease in handling the elk. The barn also contains a walk-in cooler, large shop, office, kitchen, five upstairs bedrooms (used by hunting guides), a downstairs apartment and four bathrooms.

A more complete list of improvements and equipment is available.

The numerous improvements on the property are all well kept and remain in first class condition. The structural improvements, high game fencing, buried waterlines and electric lines, wells, extensive road network, and numerous other improvements offer an attractive depreciation schedule to the purchaser. This exceptional ranch is ready to operate and enjoy. This price includes all privately owned elk and an inventory of essential ranch equipment and rolling stock.

One-half of the minerals and 100% of the executive leasing rights will be included at the $41,791,300 price. Should a purchaser want 100% of the mineral rights, the seller will convey all minerals at a total consideration of $45,000,000.

In today’s real estate market, with minerals often times being so valuable, it is extremely seldom a ranch is ever offered for sale with 100% of the minerals available. At this price, the seller will include the Essential Ranch Equipment and also the Heavy Equipment Inventory (List Available).

16,716.52 Pristine Acres

$2,500 per acre or $41,791,300

Quinlan Ranch Brochure

Quinlan Ranch

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