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NMWF Presents Attorney General Opinion on Stream Access Law at Game Commission Meeting

June 23, 2017

For immediate release

RUIDOSO– Yesterday at the regular meeting of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Commission, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation presented the opinion of Attorney General Hector Balderas in response to an agenda item regarding the Stream Access Law of 2015. It is the opinion of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and the Attorney General that the Stream Access Law is in violation of the New Mexico State Constitution.

At the May meeting, the Game Commission suggested providing private landowners with “no trespassing” signs. At the June 22nd meeting, the trespass issue was a discussion item where members of the public addressed various trespass issues. New Mexico Wildlife Federation Deputy Director Todd Leahy presented the opinion of the attorney general in response to the listing of the Stream Access Bill on the agenda.

“According to the New Mexico Constitution, waterways in New Mexico belong to all New Mexicans,” said NMWF Deputy Director Todd Leahy. “Despite owning the land around the waterway, private landowners do not own the water itself. These waters belong to all New Mexicans, the Stream Access Bill passed in 2015 violates this right. I hope the commission will take another look at this bill and work with us to make sure private landowners and the rights of the public are honored.”

The opinion of Attorney General Balderas is only the latest to confirm that the waters of New Mexico are public. The New Mexico Wildlife Federation looks forward to working with all interested stakeholders in upholding the New Mexico State Constitution.