New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Media contact: Lance Cherry, (505) 476-8003
Public contact: (888) 248-6866



The Department of Game and Fish is seeking public comments about agreements that would open some private lands to public hunting in exchange for closing some areas of State Trust land.

A public meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. March 25 at the Natural Resources Conservation Service office in Mountainair, where representatives from the department and the State Land Office will hear comments and answer questions. All comments received will be forwarded to the Department of Game and Fish Director and the State Land Commissioner.

The “unitization” agreements among the State Land Office, the department and several landowners are designed to benefit sportsmen and landowners. Under the agreements, some areas of State Trust land would be treated as private property and would be closed to hunting. The private lands covered under the agreements then would be open to public hunters.

Unitization agreements give hunters access to private land while providing landowners greater flexibility in maintaining ranching operations on often-landlocked State Trust lands. The agreements must be reviewed and renewed annually.

The following ranches have been proposed for unitization agreements in southeastern New Mexico:

Ranch Name  Game Management Unit(s)     County
Bettis Stoval 39 Guadalupe
Pajarito 32, 36 Lincoln
I Bar X 36 Lincoln
Armstrong 37 Lincoln
L Bar and Pentosa 38 Lincoln
Anyone with comments or concerns about the Department and the State Land Office entering into agreement with these landowners may send comments to Mike Perry, General unitization agreement information and maps of the proposed ranches can be found on the department website by clicking on the Commission tab, then Proposals Under Consideration.