Road Easements, Property Rights And Water Rights Discussed At Community Forum

by Staff Reporter / Mar 21, 2016 / comments

Road Easements, Property Rights And Water Rights Discussed At Community Forum

Staff Report

Saturday, Northern New Mexico Protects, a local community advocacy organization held its first panel discussion at the Knights of Columbus hall in Arroyo Seco to discuss variety of issues impacting local landowners and tribes.

Northern New Mexico Protects is an organization made up of Pojoaque Valley and northern New Mexico residents that seeks to voice community concerns over issues affecting the greater community including the Aamodt water settlement, and public roads right of way on tribal lands and how this issue affects property owners.

Over sixty people from around northern New Mexico gathered to hear local and national leaders discuss these and other issues.

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan, State Representative Carl Trujillo, County Commissioner Henry Roybal, Santa Fe County Assessor Gus Martinez and others made up the panel that discussed these issues and took questions from local residents.  Prime concerns continued to center around the loss of legal right to access private residences that are located in tribal lands and how that affects property owners’ rights. Also of concern was the impact of the implementation of the Aamodt water settlement and fear that some local landowners may lose the legal right to use private wells on their property. 

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan provided the following statement following the end of the event. “These issues impact the community where I was born and raised and the community I still call home.  That is why I have been working hard to address the road easement issues, most recently discussing it with Secretary Jewell during a committee hearing and continually calling on BIA to provide us the answers we need to move forward.  Today’s dialogue was an important one and a productive one, because we have a shared responsibility to find a solution, and this will take all of us working together – federal, state, county, and tribal governments.  I also know there are still many questions on the Aamodt Settlement, which is why today’s discussion was important so that people can get the facts.”

The Valley Daily Post will publish an in depth report on this forum in an upcoming edition.