Stephanie Garcia Richard, Commissioner of Public Lands for the State of New Mexico

Air Dates: April 23-25, 2022

This week's guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Stephanie Garcia Richard, the Commissioner of Public Lands for the State of New Mexico, discussing the billion-plus dollars raised annually from the extractive industries in NM that is given to the beneficiaries of the Land Grant Permanent Fund and used to pay for public schools, universities, and hospitals. These crucial public institutions are then funded, so that taxpayers don't have to foot the bill. The Commissioner estimates the Land Office is saving New Mexico taxpaying families about $1500 in unpaid taxes a year.

Stephanie Garcia Richard also describes new Land Office initiatives such as a ban on the use of fresh water for oil and gas operations, wildlife corridors, investing in affordable housing for seniors in Albuquerque, and recreational activities on beautiful State Trust Lands.

She observes that we can diversify the revenue that comes into the Land Office by tripling the number of renewable energy projects, promoting outdoor recreation, and encouraging new and innovative commercial development on state trust land.

With the largest continuous oil and gas resources potential ever assessed in the world sitting in Southeast New Mexico, and land that is prime for wind and solar development, Commissioner Garcia Richard reaffirms her commitment to working to make more money for New Mexico while always keeping an eye toward stewardship and preserving the land for generations to come.

Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard is the first woman, the first Latina, and the first educator to serve in the position as New Mexico’s Commissioner of Public Lands.