"SANTA FE — Another question has been raised about the governor's proposal to expand the Cerrillos Hills State Park and create a wild horse sanctuary by buying 12,000 acres of privately owned land south of Madrid: What about the property's mineral rights?"...
..."Energy, Mineral and Natural Resources Department spokeswoman Jodi McGinnis Porter said in an interview that the state believes Ann Russ owns the mineral rights. Russ, whose family acquired the Ortiz land grant in the 1940s, served as president of the Ortiz Mining Company. She could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The mining company leased about 65,000 acres of mineral rights in the area to Tecton Energy, which sparked a major controversy a few years ago with its plans to drill for oil and gas in the Galisteo Basin. Intense public opposition eventually led Tecton to back off from the plan.
County Commissioner Liz Stefanics said she hoped there was some desire by the state to eventually purchase mineral rights to the Ortiz Mountain Ranch property.
"We can preserve the land by buying it," Stefanics said. "But if someone has mineral rights they can still do whatever they want to."' More>>>>
We are citizens concerned with promoting protections from resource extractive activities in Santa Fe County. Tax deductible donations [501(c)3] for DSF should be made to the Concerned Citizens of Cerrillos for the Drilling Santa Fe Fund, P.O. Box 23921, Santa Fe, NM 87502. Donations are not set up via the internet.
The mission of Drilling Santa Fe is to protect the cultural, environmental, and economic resources of Santa FeCounty from the adverse impacts of oil and gas exploration and production within the County.
Comments about SOPA (for ref. Educational Links: Surface Owners Protection Act & H.R. 2337 Ed Links)
Bob Gallagher of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association noted that the state's landowner protection law, which just went into effect July 1, was borne out of cooperation between landowners and energy companies. The result was a balanced, fair bill that protected both sides, he said.
"It does not delay or deny access to mineral resources," Gallagher said.
Gallagher implied that the federal legislation, by contrast, is too one-sided. "It is not a good start. It is not a good finish. It was not written by someone in the field doing the work," he said.
Aside from the split-estate provisions, H.R. 2337 would amend sections of the 2005 Energy Policy Act that accelerated oil and gas drilling on public lands, severely limit the Interior Department's royalty-in-kind program and establish a fee on nonproducing leases. The measure also aims to bolster carbon sequestration studies and require new studies for wind power siting, and it would establish an intra-agency panel to address the effect of warming on federal lands, oceans and federal water infrastructure (E&E Daily, July 16).
Gable is an independent energy and environmental writer in Woodland Park, Colo
The House of Representatives will vote next week. Congressman Udall: Phone 202-225-6190 or 505-984-8950
"The Gold of the Ortiz Mountains " - William Baxter
"The Gold of the Ortiz Mountains - A Story of New Mexico and The West's First Major Gold Rush," by William Baxter is not only a fascinating read, but puts the potentially impending black gold rush into context. Again, big interests have their sites set on the OrtizMountains area for mineral extraction (see memo Ortiz Mines, Inc. Memo of Oil & Gas Lease below).
Referenced Links: "Oil and Gas Exploration in Santa Fe County":
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Ortiz Mines, Inc Memo of Oil & Gas Lease Exhibit A Part 1
Ortiz Mines, Inc Memo of Oil & Gas Lease Exhibit A Part 2