New rule extends life of state lands permits

Ray Powell
From the Carlsbad Current Argus - by By Zack Ponce - CARLSBAD >> Outdoor adventurers are receiving an early Christmas gift. The New Mexico State Land Office announced on Friday all newly-purchased recreational and educational access permits on state trust lands are valid for a full year, effective immediately.
     The revision to Rule 19 repairs a flaw in the permitting system in which prior permits expired at the end of the calendar year, regardless of the date of purchase. "That just didn't make any sense, it wasn't fair," said land commissioner Ray Powell. "These rule revisions will make some of our state trust lands more readily available to the public for hiking, photographing and other recreational activities, as well as outdoor education. We encourage people to take advantage of these opportunities to enjoy and learn in New Mexico's great outdoors."
     Additional rule changes include the expanding of educational permits. Now those group permits allow for up to 50 people to visit state trust lands for up to three days, as opposed to 25 people for a one-day trip. Annual recreation permits cost $25 and educational permits are $5 for each visit. Most of the state trust land in Eddy County is scattered about the region, away from the cities of Carlsbad and Artesia. More