23rd Sep, 2016

What’s the difference in grazing New Mexico State Trust (State Lease) Lands vs. grazing BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Lands?

XJ3B1725What’s the difference in grazing New Mexico State Trust (State Lease) Lands vs. grazing BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Lands?

New Mexico State Land Office

The State Land Office is responsible for administering 9 million acres of surface and 13 million acres of subsurface estate for the beneficiaries of the state land trust, which includes schools, universities, hospitals and other important public institutions.

The Land Office seeks to optimize revenues while protecting the health of the land for future generations.  By leasing state trust land for a wide array of uses, the Land Office generates hundreds of millions of dollars each year to support these beneficiaries while saving the average household about $800 in taxes.

State trust land is located in 32 of New Mexico’s 33 counties, with each acre of land designated to a specific beneficiary. Trust lands were granted to New Mexico by Congress under the Ferguson Act of 1898 and the Enabling Act of 1910. The latter act allowed New Mexico’s admission to the United States upon voter approval of the state constitution.

In general terms, the state was granted four square miles – Sections 2, 16, 32, and 36 – in each 36-section township. Where those sections had previously been sold or allocated to Indian pueblos, tribal reservations or pre-existing land grants, the state was allowed to pick lands elsewhere in lieu of the four designated sections. The state also received “quantity grants” from the federal government, in specific amounts to benefit specified universities, special schools, institutions, and other purposes. Those land grants totaled about 5 million acres.

Revenue generated from the extraction of oil and gas, from mining, the sale of land, and any other activity that depletes the resource is placed in the Land Grant Permanent Fund, which is invested for the beneficiaries. Revenues from activities like grazing, rights of way, and commercial activities that do not permanently deplete the resource are distributed through the Land Maintenance Fund to the designated beneficiaries after the Land Office covers its own expenses – an amount which typically is equal to about 2.5 percent of the revenue generated.

More Info: nmstatelands.org

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

The Bureau of Land Management, which administers about 245 million acres of public lands, manages livestock grazing on 155 million acres of those lands, as guided by Federal law. The terms and conditions for grazing on BLM-managed lands (such as stipulations on forage use and season of use) are set forth in the permits and leases issued by the Bureau to public land ranchers.

The BLM administers nearly 18,000 permits and leases held by ranchers who graze their livestock, mostly cattle and sheep, at least part of the year on more than 21,000 allotments under BLM management. Permits and leases generally cover a 10-year period and are renewable if the BLM determines that the terms and conditions of the expiring permit or lease are being met. The amount of grazing that takes place each year on BLM-managed lands can be affected by such factors as drought, wildfire, and market conditions.

In managing livestock grazing on public rangelands, the BLM’s overall objective is to ensure the long-term health and productivity of these lands and to create multiple environmental benefits that result from healthy watersheds. The Bureau administers public lands ranching in accordance with the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934 and more recent laws, and in so doing provides livestock-based economic opportunities in rural communities while contributing to the West’s, and America’s, social fabric and identity. Together, public lands and the adjacent private ranches maintain open spaces in the fast-growing West, provide habitat for wildlife, offer a myriad of recreational opportunities for public land users, and help preserve the character of the rural West.

More Info: blm.gov

New Mexico State Trust Lands and BLM


Below is a quick sampling of differences/similarities. CLICK HERE to see a comparison between agricultural leasing on State Trust Lands and Bureau of Land Management.

New Mexico State Land Office

Grazing Lease or Permit: Authorizes, through an agricultural lease, the right to state land for the production of crops and other soil products, raising animals, or other related uses.
It may be subject to such other rights and uses as the
Commissioner may authorize.

Base Property: Does not have a base property requirement.

Collateral: Allows a rancher to use the lease or permit as collateral with a lending institution. Collateral assignment shall have prior written consent of the Commissioner and payment of a collateral assignment filing fee.

Grazing Capacity Livestock Stocking Levels: The NMSLO has a grazing capacity established for the lease. It uses grazing capacity as part of a formula to determine the annual rental bill for the lease. According to N.M.A.C., 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)

Fees Due For The Lease or Permit: Fees are set annually by formula based on an animal unit month similar to ELM, which is based on the Public Rangeland Improvement Act of 1978. The NMSLO current fee is $3.21 per AUM or $.60/acre

Subleases: May be made only with the prior written consent of the Commissioner. An agricultural sublease as a transaction or arrangement whereby a lessee grants to another rights or interests conveyed to the lessee by an agricultural lease.

A sublease is created when the lessee transfers to another either the possession of the leased premises, or a portion of it, or the management and control of crops and other products located on the leased premises.

A sublease is not created when the lessee retains possession or management of animals or products located on the leased premises but not owned by the lessee.

The surcharge for a sublease is the current annual rental fee plus an amount equal to 20 percent of the current annual lease rental.

Kind and Class of Livestock: May lease state trust land for kind and class of livestock which is determined to be in the best interest of the trust.

No approval is needed to switch class or kind of livestock, and no terms and conditions are set governing kind and class of livestock allowed on state trust land.

Rancher Access: Does not place specific access restrictions on lessee mode of travel, or limitations on off road travel.

Bureau of Land Management

Grazing Lease or Permit: Authorizes grazing by permit or lease for grazing outside of grazing districts and within grazing district boundaries.

There are important differences in base property requirements between a BLM grazing lease and permit. You can find out the boundaries of the grazing districts at the local BLM offices.

Base Property: Has a base property requirement for grazing permittees and lessees. A grazing preference has priority for receiving a grazing permit or lease. This priority is attached to base property owned or controlled by the permittee or lessee rather than the individual.

Collateral: Allows a rancher to use the lease or permit as collateral with a lending institution.

Grazing Capacity Livestock Stocking Levels: The BLM has a grazing capacity for the permit or lease. Each permit or lease will provide for a certain number of livestock and time they can use the lands.
When the BLM lands compose only a minor part of the allotment or use area, the BLM may not determine the annual stocking levels. However, where BLM has the majority of the land, it will determine the acceptable stocking levels in the permit or lease.

Fees Due For The Lease or Permit: The ELM fees are set annually by formula based on an animal unit month. An animal unit month is the amount of forage necessary for one cow or its equivalent for a period of one month. Currently, the fee is $1.35 per animal unit month (AUM).

Subleases: Requires the permittee or lessee to own or control the livestock. Where the livestock are not owned by the permittee, lessee or their chldren, thymust notify ELM and pay an additional sublease surcharge. The surcharge for ELM – NM currently is $4.08 per animal unit month.

Kind and Class of Livestock: Establishes the permit or lease with an acceptable kind or type of livestock. The rancher must get ELM’s approval to switch.

If the rancher wants to run a specific class of livestock such as yearlings and run additional livestock as a result of the smaller animal, they must have ELM’s approval first.

Rancher Access:  All ELM lands are normally available for rancher access via foot or horseback or existing roads. However, there may be restrictions on off road travel that would apply to ranchers as well as others. Information is available at the local ELM office on access restrictions.

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