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Santa Fe NM 87501

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State Land Office’s Steve Vierck Selected One of North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 2, 2020

Contact:

Angie Poss, Assistant Commissioner of Communications

505.470.2965 aposs@slo.state.nm.us

SANTA FE, NM – Steve Vierck of the New Mexico State Land Office has been selected by Consultant Connect as one of North America’s top 50 economic developers. This selection comes days after Vierck was appointed by Commissioner Garcia Richard to fill the role of Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Resources. Vierck had been serving in an appointed capacity as Director of Special Projects when the Commercial Resources Commissioner position was vacated by Craig Johnson.

Johnson applied for and was offered the position of Outdoor Recreation Specialist, where he will be charged with overseeing the Open for Adventure campaign recently launched to bring attention to recreation opportunities on state trust land.

Consultant Connect selects a group of 50 economic developers for the accolade every year. Partners and members of the group nominate individuals that exemplify leadership in the field, and the top 50 are selected by a panel of judges.

“It’s no surprise to me that Steve was recognized as one of the top economic developers in North America. His excellent reputation, his leadership, and his know-how are exactly why we fought to bring him to the Land Office,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said of the achievement. “I’m honored that he will be serving as one of my Assistant Commissioners, where he will be tasked with enhancing economic development opportunities on state trust land across New Mexico.”

“In my new role I hope to strongly pursue Commissioner Garcia Richard’s critical initiative to proactively assist communities throughout the state by expanding their real estate options for economic development projects. That in turn will expand Land Office revenues for educational institutions and our other beneficiaries,” Vierck added.  “I look forward to joining the talented and experienced team that is already in place in expanding commercial revenues from Business, Planning and Development, and Economic Development Leases and Rights of Way. Our real estate assets include many well-located parcels that can help create jobs and economic vitality in both rural and urban New Mexico.”

Assistant Commissioner of Commercial Resources Steve Vierck

with Commissioner of Public Lands Stephanie Garcia Richard

Commissioner Garcia Richard Awards 7,636 Acres to PNE USA, Inc. For Gladstone Wind Farm Project

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 20, 2019

Contact:

Angie Poss, Assistant Commissioner of Communications

505.470.2965

aposs@slo.state.nm.us

SANTA FE, NM – PNE USA, Inc. has won a bid to develop a wind farm on 7,636 acres of state trust land in Union and Colfax Counties. The area has been designated as prime for wind energy generation and will be in close proximity to two existing transmission lines. The state trust land portion of the project is anticipated to generate 31 megawatts (MW) from 11 turbines, enough capacity to power approximately 6,200 New Mexico households. This project is expected to generate $8 million over the course of the lease.

“This year we have given the green light to three wind projects across the state, more than have been awarded in the last four years combined, doubling the future production of renewable energy on state trust land,” Commissioner Garcia Richard said. “The Office of Renewable Energy is powering ahead to process all of the pending renewable energy applications in our office, intent on assuring the State Land Office maximizes our potential for clean energy. When these projects happen on state trust land, New Mexico public schools and other institutions benefit.”

PNE USA CEO Ron Flax-Davidson with Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard signing lease award for the Gladstone Wind Farm

Applications for the 7,636 acres of state trust land were open to potential bidders for 10 weeks, with final applications due to the State Land Office in late November and the lease approved and signed today by the Commissioner. PNE sweetened their bid application with a bonus bid of $110,000.

“PNE Is pleased to partner with the NM State Land Office on the development of the Gladstone New Mexico Wind Farm,” PNE USA CEO Ron-Flax Davidson said. “When operational we expect the Gladstone Wind Farm to include an additional 8,000 acres of private land providing a total of nearly 80 MW of capacity and providing over $5 million in local tax and lease revenue.”

Each acre of state trust land is designated to a specific beneficiary, with the funds raised by activity on that land going back to various New Mexico public institutions including public schools, colleges and hospitals. The acreage included in this lease is designated to public schools, the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, the state public buildings fund, the state penitentiary, and Carrie Tingley Hospital. These institutions will split the expected revenue over the course of the lease.

Oil, gas, and mineral production, ranching and farming, and commercial development on State Trust Lands support public schools, seven universities, New Mexico Military Institute, New Mexico School for the Deaf, New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired,  three hospitals, correctional facilities, water conservation projects, and public building construction and repair.  In fiscal year 2019, the State Land Office collected $1 billion from lease payments, oil and gas lease sale earnings, rights-of-way, permits, interest, fees, and oil, gas and mineral royalties.

Commissioner Garcia Richard Restricts Hunting Near South Valley Neighborhoods Hunting Improvement Negotiations with Department of Game and Fish Hit a Snag

Albuquerque, NM – In an effort to increase public safety in the South Valley and shieldfamily homes from stray bullets, Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard todayannounced a restriction on hunting and trapping on 212 acres of state trust land along theRio Grande Bosque, adjacent to Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) in Bernalillo County.

Access to nearly 9 million acres of state trust land for hunters and other sportspeople is set out in an agreement between the New Mexico State Land Office and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish (NMDGF). The Rio Grande Bosque parcel of state trust land has historically not been used for hunting but saw an increase in hunting this year due to a new parking lot at the Refuge. The agreement between the two agencies, signed in 2016, is meant to improve access to state trust land for New Mexico hunters and sportspeople. Negotiations to renew the agreement for nearly 9 million acres of trust land have been underway between the agencies. The Land Office sought input from across the state—from recreationalists, sportspeople and the agriculture community in preparation for the negotiations.

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State Land Office Launches “Open for Adventure” Outdoor Recreation Campaign

Includes Partnership with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Hiring of Outdoor Recreation Specialist, and Launch of Online Application Portal

SANTA FE, NM – Commissioner Stephanie Garcia today announced the launch of the Land Office’s outdoor recreation campaign, “Open for Adventure.” The announcement was made in partnership with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and Pojoaque Valley Intermediate School. Thanks to a partnership with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, the Land Office is now offering free recreational access permits to New Mexico 5th graders and their families.

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Cypress Inc. Concedes Grazing Lease Cancellation, Drops Legal Contest

SANTA FE, NM – Cypress Inc., a corporation associated with Jeffrey Epstein, has conceded the State Land Office’s cancellation of two livestock grazing leases. Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard sent a cancellation letter in early September giving Cypress 30 days’ notice of her intent to cancel the leases. Cypress, through an Albuquerque law firm, filed a contest of the cancellation and a petition in First Judicial District Court to immediately block the cancellation. The court did not grant Cypress’ request to halt the lease cancellation, but instead set a November 5, 2019 hearing on the matter.

Through settlement negotiations, Cypress now has agreed to the previous lease cancellation effective October 4, 2019. The corporation also dropped the contest of the cancellation that it filed in court.

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