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Cultural Properties Rule Proposal

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Cultural Properties Rule Change Proposal

The protection of cultural properties on state trust land is a top priority of Commissioner Garcia Richard’s. In 2019, the New Mexico State Land Office invited tribes and stakeholders to assist the office in creating the first buffer around the Greater Chaco Region to halt future oil and gas leasing. This was a first step in protecting cultural properties on state trust land, but heard the request to do more.

In 2021, we established a standalone Cultural Resources Office (CRO) to elevate the role of the archeology team within the agency, create more direct lines of communication with the Commissioner’s office, and position the agency to manage cultural resource and consultation efforts in a coordinated and responsive manner.

CRO was tasked with establishing the first ever cultural properties protection rule to require cultural property surveys to be conducted prior to any new surface disturbing activity on the 9 million acres of state trust land.

Read the Commissioner’s letter regarding this proposed rule change

After a year of consultation with individual tribes, the All Council of Pueblo Governors, Indian Affairs Department, and the public, the State Land Office formally submitted a draft Cultural Property Rule with a 45 day public comment period and public meeting.


Currently, the State Land Office is working to address public comments submitted on the proposed rule and establish an internal process to ensure a successful implementation of the rule. The final cultural properties rule is slated to be finalized by summer 2022 and implemented by fall 2022.

Read the Cultural Property Rule Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and about our Project Assistance Program

Have a question or would like more information? Please email our Cultural Resources Office at or you can call 505-827-5732 to reach them by phone.

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