The New Mexico State Land Office was created in response To the Ferguson Act of 1898 of the Territorial Laws and Treaties of New Mexico.
The Enabling Act of 1910 and the Ferguson Act granted certain lands held by the federal government to the territory of New Mexico. Under the terms of these land grants, it was stipulated that such lands, totaling 13.4 million acres, were to be held in trust for the benefit of the public schools, universities, and other specific beneficiary institutions.
The Land Commissioner is charged with generating and optimizing revenue from state trust lands to support public education and other beneficiary institutions, while simultaneously striving to protect, conserve, and maintain the lands so they may be used by future generations. The State Land Office generates revenues by leasing lands for grazing, agriculture, commercial use, renewable energy, oil and gas drilling, mining, and other surface and subsurface activities.