Pueblo of San Ildefonso Sued Over Road Dispute
Santa Fe – This past December, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and Pueblo of San Ildefonso issued a statement to Santa Fe County asserting that use of County Road 84, as well as side roads 84A, 84B, 84C, 84D and Sandy Way was in trespass. According to BIA and the Pueblo of San Ildefonso, “no record exists to the fact that the County has an easement or right-of-ways in (their) files nor is there any record that the County has submitted an application.”
The roads in question offer access to more than 1000 non-Native residents of the communities of El Rancho and Jaconita and have existed for centuries to access private land claims within the San Ildefonso Pueblo Land Grant.
This action, set off a chain of events that led to the creation of Northern New Mexicans Protecting Land, Water and Rights Inc. (NNMPLWR). According to NNMPLWR, “since the letter of trespass was issued by the BIA, private property owners have been unable to reliably secure title insurance policies without exceptions for ingress/egress, effectively barring homeowners from buying, selling and refinancing their private properties. Elderly residents count on the equity in their homes to pay for their long-term care once they are unable to live on their own. Other property owners run small businesses that secure bonds for projects using their private property as collateral. The economic impacts of the BIA’s claim has been detrimental to the economy of the entire Pojoaque Valley.”
The lawsuit filed by NNMPLWR asks for an immediate injunction to be placed on the BIA from interfering with private property rights within the exterior boundaries of the San Ildefonso Pueblo Land Grant and to Quiet Title on all these public rights-of-way maintained by Santa Fe County. It alleges that these rights-of-way have been public vested private property since the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo (1848), affirmed under the Mining Act of July 26, 1866, 14 Stat. 253, and that these rights-of-way were confirmed in the Pueblo Lands Act of 1924.
For more information about NNMPLWR, please visit www.nnmprotects.org.