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New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands

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New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $13,618,900
Term limits:  2 terms
Structure
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  New Mexico Constitution, Article V, Section I
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Ray Powell.jpg
Name:  Ray Powell
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  2011
Compensation:  $95986
Elections
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other New Mexico Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorCommissioner of Public LandsSecretary of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance SuperintendentSecretary of Energy, Minerals and Natural ResourcesSecretary of Workforce SolutionsPublic Regulation CommissionPublic Education Commission

The New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands is an elected constitutional state executive officer in the New Mexico state government.

The Commissioner leads the State Land Office, which is responsible for administering 9 million acres of surface and 13 million acres of subsurface land for the beneficiaries of the State Land Trust. The office seeks to optimize revenues while protecting the health of the land.[1]

Current officeholder

The current officeholder is Ray Powell (D). First elected in 2010, he previously served as State Land Commissioner from 1993-2002 and was president and vice-president of the 22-member Western States Land Commissioners Association from 1996-1998.[2]

Authority

The state Constitution addresses the office of commissioner of public lands in Article V, the Executive Department.

Under Article V, Section 1:

The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer, attorney general and commissioner of public lands,...

Qualifications

As outlined in Article V, Section 3 of the state Constitution, an individual must meet the following qualifications in order to serve as land commissioner:

  • A citizen of the United States
  • At least 30 years of age
  • Have resided continuously in New Mexico for five years preceding the election

Elections

New Mexico state government organizational chart

New Mexico elects the commissioner of public lands in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For New Mexico, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all commissioner election years.

Term limits

The land commissioner is limited to serving two consecutive four-year terms.

Vacancies

Per Article V, Section 5 of the New Mexico Constitution, in the event of a vacancy the governor fills the position by appointment. The appointee serves until the next general election.

Duties

The Land Commissioner is responsible for generating and maximizing revenue from state land trusts while concurrently protecting, conserving, and maintaining the lands for use by future generations. The money generated is used to support public education and other beneficiary institutions.

These revenues are generated by the land commissioner by leasing lands for grazing, agriculture, commercial use, oil and gas drilling, mining and other activities.[3]

Divisions

The State Land Office includes the following divisions and subdivisions:[4]

  • Administrative Services
  • Accounting
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Records Management
  • Commercial Resources
  • Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy
  • Field Operations
  • Mineral Resources
  • Oil, Gas, and Minerals
  • Royalty Management
  • Legal Division
  • Surface Resources
  • Agricultural Leasing
  • Rights of Way
  • Special Projects
  • Educational Outreach
  • Adult Education/Tours
  • Community Outreach

State budget

The Fiscal Year 2012 budget for the Commissioner of Public Lands was $13,618,900.[5]

Compensation

See also: Compensation of state executive officers

2013

In 2013, the commissioner was paid an estimated $92,861.[6]

2012

In 2012, the commissioner was paid an estimated $95,986. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

There have been 27 commissioners of public lands since 1899. Of the 27 officeholders, 7 were Republican and 20 were Democratic. The first commissioner, Alpheus A. Keen, was appointed. The second, Robert P. Ervein, was initially appointed and later elected.[7]

List of Former Officeholders from 1899-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 Alpheus A. Keen 1899-1906 Ends.png Republican
2 Robert P. Ervein 1907-1918 Ends.png Republican
3 Fred Muller Oct.-Dec. 1918 Electiondot.png Democratic
4 N.A. Field 1919-1922 Ends.png Republican
5 Justiniano Baca 1923-1925 Electiondot.png Democratic
6 E.B. Swope 1925-1926 Electiondot.png Democratic
7 B.F. Pankey 1927-1929 Ends.png Republican
8 Austin D. Crile 1929-1930 Ends.png Republican
9 J.F. Hinkle 1931-1932 Electiondot.png Democratic
10 Frank Vesely 1933-1936 Electiondot.png Democratic
11 Frank Worden 1937-1940 Electiondot.png Democratic
12 H.R. Rodgers 1941-1944 Electiondot.png Democratic
13 John E. Miles 1945-1948 Electiondot.png Democratic
14 Guy Shepard 1949-1952 Electiondot.png Democratic
15 E.S. “Johnny” Walker 1953-1956 Electiondot.png Democratic
16 Murray E. Morgan 1957-1960 Electiondot.png Democratic
17 E.S. “Johnny” Walker 1961-1964 Electiondot.png Democratic
18 Guyton B. Hays 1965-1968 Electiondot.png Democratic
19 Alex Armijo 1969-1974 Electiondot.png Democratic
20 Phil R. Lucero 1975-1978 Electiondot.png Democratic
21 Alex Armijo 1979-1982 Electiondot.png Democratic
22 Jim Baca 1983-1986 Electiondot.png Democratic
23 W.R. Humphries 1987-1990 Ends.png Republican
24 Jim Baca 1991-1993 Electiondot.png Democratic
25 Ray Powell 1993-2002 Electiondot.png Democratic
26 Patrick Lyons 2003-2010 Ends.png Republican
27 Ray Powell 2011-present Electiondot.png Democratic

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term New Mexico + Commissioner + of + Public Lands

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands News Feed

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Contact information

State Land Office - Edward J. Lopez Building

General Contact Information
310 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe NM 87501
P.O. Box 1148, Santa Fe, NM 87504
505-827-5760
505-827-5766 (Fax)

For information on individual employees, see the employee lookup function on the official website.

See also

External links

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References