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Cultural Properties Protection Rule

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Cultural Properties Protection Rule

About the Cultural Properties Protection Rule

Effective Date: December 1, 2022

The purpose of the Cultural Properties Protection Rule is to proactively identify archaeological sites and other cultural properties on state trust lands and protect them before they are damaged. The rule requires lessees of state trust lands to conduct informational reviews and cultural resource surveys before engaging in new surface disturbing activities and to adjust project activities to avoid damage to identified cultural properties.

The rule provides for important exceptions, including repairs and maintenance of existing improvements such as fences and water tanks, that do not involve additional surface disturbance. The State Land Office has also launched the Cultural Survey Support Program in conjunction with the rule to help agricultural lessees and others with the survey process and to provide additional information and support regarding how to comply with the rule.

“The previous approach to cultural properties on trust lands was, ‘if you break it, you buy it,’ and that simply isn’t good enough. This rule gives my staff the tools and authority to ensure parcels are thoroughly surveyed for cultural properties before irreparable harm is done. Cultural properties found on state trust lands are very much a part of New Mexico’s story, and it is my duty to protect these resources as much as the land itself. I’m grateful to those who made their voices heard regarding the development of the rule, and I especially appreciate the input from Tribes and Pueblos, which was essential to crafting an appropriate and effective rule.”

Stephanie Garcia Richard

Commissioner of Public Lands

“This rule is the first step in acknowledging the history of land theft from Tribes, the original and rightful stewards of the land we manage. The rule is the least we can do to help avoid the destruction of Tribes’ heritage and ongoing connection to landscapes on state trust land.”

Rachael Lorenzo

Assistant Commissioner of Cultural Resources

CPP Rule Informational Materials

Below you will find videos and step-by-step guides about the Cultural Properties Protection Rule, new procedures, and operation of the NMSLO Cultural Compliance Web Portal.

Rulemaking Order

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

CPP Rule Agricultural Lessee FAQs


Training Resources

The Cultural Resources Office offers comprehensive training for stakeholders and consultants in regards to the CPP Rule. Below are resources from previous trainings. If you would like to schedule a customized training for your business or organization, please send a request to 

Cultural Properties Protection Rule Training Video PART 1

The video above is a compilation of multiple virtual Zoom trainings edited to provide a concise overview. This training covers the questions: “What is the CPP Rule?” and, “What are the new requirements?”

Cultural Properties Protection Rule Training Video PART 2

The video above is a compilation of multiple virtual Zoom trainings edited to provide a concise overview. This training covers the new procedures such as the cultural Compliance Portal and frequently asked questions. 

Training Presentation Slideshows

Click the links below to download a PDF version of each slideshow presentation.

Cultural Resource Consultant Training Slideshow

General Lessee Training Slideshow

Oil and Gass Lessee Training Slideshow

Agricultural Lessee Training Slideshow 

Cultural Compliance Web Portal Overview Video

The video above demonstrates how to create an account, login, and navigate the dashboard. 

Web Portal How-To Guides 

User Login and Dashboard Instructions

Acknowledgement Instructions

Oil and Gas Project Description Instructions

ARMS Review Instructions

Notification of Intent to Conduct Survey Instructions


Rule Development and History

The protection of cultural properties on state trust land is a top priority of Commissioner Garcia Richard. 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, Commissioner Garcia Richard established a standalone Cultural Resources Office (CRO) to elevate the role of the archaeology 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 developing 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 the rule proposal

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


Have additional questions 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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