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FAQ’s Right Of Way

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310 Old Santa Fe Trail,
Santa Fe NM 87501


What is a right of way?

A right of way is a right or privilege granted by the commissioner, to pass over, upon, through, or across, a defined area of trust lands for a prescribed purpose and time. This right of way can be issued as a road, pipeline, telecommunication, or electrical.

How do I obtain a right of way easement?

We can send you an application form along with a copy of the State Land Office rule. When submitting an application, there is a
$250.00 fee. Along with the fee, you are required to submit a certified survey plat. All fees are non-refundable.

*When you provide a check as payment, you authorize the State of New Mexico to either use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or to process the payment as a check transaction.

See right-of-way forms here.

How much is a right of way?

he fee of your right of way will be determined by the actual rods that you apply for. There is a fee schedule based on the type of right of way that will determine the cost. There are four (4) types of fee schedules:

What is a “rod”?

A “rod” is a unit of measurement used when price is determined when issuing a right of way. A rod is equivalent to 16.5 linear feet.

How long will it take to have my application approved?

If the application is accurate and complete along with a survey plat, your right of way may be issued within 4 – 6 weeks. Application will be delayed if inaccurate or insufficient
information is received.

How can I obtain a right of entry permit?

A right of entry permit can be obtained by submitting the right of entry request form or by contacting our Commercial Resources Division at (505) 827-5842.

See right of entry forms here.

Why do I have to get a permit to use State Trust Land if it is public land?

STATE TRUST LANDS ARE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD IN TERMS OF BOTH THEIR CHARACTER AND THEIR MANAGEMENT. THEY ARE NOT PUBLIC LANDS, BUT ARE INSTEAD THE SUBJECT OF A PUBLIC TRUST CREATED TO SUPPORT THE EDUCATION OF NEW MEXICO’S CHILDREN. The land is declared public because the income from its resources is applied to the public good. The land that the State Land Office manages is Trust land. The SLO must, by statute and by constitution, manage the lands so that the 22 named beneficiary institutions around the state receive income from the Trust.

How can I get a permit for a water well?

The State Engineer’s Office handles water issues. The direct line to their Water Rights Division is 505-827-6120. If the land where you want to place a well is State Trust Land, contact the Oil, Gas and Minerals Division at 505-827- 5849.

What  kind of bonds does the SLO require from lessees?

Amounts for the various bonds are:

  • Single lease bond -$500
  • Blanket bond -$2,500
  • Megabond -$25,000

In lieu of these surety bonds, you may be able to submit:

  • cash bond
  • assignment of cash collateral irrevocable letter of credit
  • waiver and consent by surface owner / lessee

Will I be able to transfer my right-of-way if I ever have to?

You may assign the right-of-way in full or in part to someone else. However, the other person or entity must be bonded. If you assign your right of way in full, you may ask that your bond be closed out provided you don’t have any more rights-of-way in your name.

Do all gas pipelines have to be buried?

If a gas line is being laid, it can be laid on the surface if it is below 125 psi, if it goes over 125 psi the pipeline must be buried.

Is it possible to get a temporary access permit to dig up yuccas or landscaping rock on state lands?

Temporary access permits which are referred to as Right of Entry Permits (ROE) may be issued upon payment of such fees and costs as the commissioner deems in the best interest of the trust. Materials such as yuccas or rock for personal use may be sought with a temporary permit, but large quantities collected with intent to sell for profit must have a business lease approved. Any ground disturbance needs to protect cultural properties and may need an archaeological survey. ROE’s may be for one day and up to 180 days. The normal rate is a $50.00 filing fee and $500.00 administrative or permit fee. Term and use are factors that are used in determining the price. In all cases, a legal description of the area needs to be submitted along with the right of entry request form.

I hear you can hunt on state lands. What permits are required?

Perhaps you have heard of the Outfitting/Guiding permits allowed to individuals or companies to conduct outfitting or guiding services on state land for deer, elk lion, bear, rabbit, cougar and bear, etc. Wildlife not covered by the hunting and fishing licenses held by the permittee may not be hunted or fished. The permittee will be required to furnish proof of the permit granted by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. Application fee is $30.00. Permit fee which includes one campsite is $500.00 for a statewide permit. The term is limited to one year and must be within a Game and Fish Hunt Unit. Valid license-holders in cooperation with Game & Fish may hunt, fish and trap on designated trust land during open seasons.

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