Luján legislation to strengthen land grant rights for communities clears committee

US SENATE News:

WASHINGTON, DC – The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has unanimously passed legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján (DN.M.) to provide greater consultation between the federal government and communities land grant.

The Land Grant-Mercedes Traditional Use Recognition and Consultation Act recognizes community land grants as an important part of the culture and history of the State of New Mexico and requires consideration of historical traditional uses in planning management of federal lands.

As a member of the United States House of Representatives during the 116e Congress, Senator Luján unanimously passed similar legislation through the House to make it easier for Mercedes-Benz land grants to work with federal land management agencies. The legislation also requires the federal government to provide guidance on all permit requirements for qualifying land mercedes and traditional uses, including for routine maintenance, minor improvements and major improvements.

“New Mexico’s land grant communities enrich the fabric of New Mexico’s culture and history. The federal government must prioritize consultation with land-grant communities to ensure their voices are heard and respected,” Luján said. “Having worked on this issue for more than a decade, I was proud that this bill received such support in committee. I am hopeful that we will be able to pass this legislation – which will be the most significant land grant legislation in generations.

U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (DN.M.) introduced the bill in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (DN.M.) and U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (DN.M.) are the original co-sponsors.

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