[cdt-l] Tom Jacoby Jan 18

Ken Powers kdpo at pacbell.net
Sun Jan 21 12:55:59 CST 2007

I keep seeing statements about legal ownership of New Mexico property. There 
is a major issue with property ownership rights in New Mexico. It is not 
unusual to have several  people claiming ownership of the same property in 
New Mexico. Property rights stem from Mexican Land Grants, Grants to WW II 
veterans, water rights granted to WW II veterans, and US land grants and 
water rights. And in New Mexico water rights pretty much define ownership of 
the land in most ranchers minds. We were stopped by a couple of ranchers who 
wanted to know where we were going. They made it clear they didn't want us 
on their land. After we talked with them for awhile they softened that 
stance a bit.

We had a hitch with the land rights attorney who wrote the New Mexico laws 
trying to sort out this mess. He told us it was the law with the most 
verbage to be passed in the US - including federal laws and all state laws. 
It didn't solve the issue as armed gun fights still occur in northern New 
Mexico. Both the CDTA and Jim Wolf's routes carefully avoid the Tierra 
Amarilla Grant between Abiquiu and the Colorado state line. Ghost Ranch is 
actively searching land ownership history and deeding parts of their land to 
surviviors of persons they deem the rightful owners.

I guess what I am trying to say is that even if the map says BLM owns the 
land you may get questioned by ranchers who think they own the land, or at 
least the water rights to the land. And most of them have gun racks in their 

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ginny & Jim Owen" <spiritbear2k at hotmail.com>
To: <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Cc: <dickebird at gmail.com>
Sent: Sunday, January 21, 2007 5:26 AM
Subject: Re: [cdt-l] Tom Jacoby Jan 18

Dick -
The BLM land management maps are precisely what you're looking for - we used
them for our '99 and '06 hikes.  They're color coded to indicate private,
state and federal agency land ownership (among others).  The maps we used in
'99 were entirely adelquate for our '06 hike. In spite of your conversation
with the cop - land turnover in this area is not a major problem.  And when
a tract does change hands, it generally changes to the same type of
ownership (i.e. - private party to private party). Land swaps between
private and government agencies do occur - but slowly - very slowly.  A
mandated quarterly update of the maps would be precisely what you've
indicated - a massive waste of my tax money (and yours).  I do agree with
you that a whole lot of gubmint money could find better uses.  I have my own
list of suggestions -

BTW - as far as I can determine, those maps show the area in question as
being entirely private.  I'm missing a small corner of one map so I couold
be wrong - but I don't think so. That's what happens when you cut maps - you
end up missing pieces.

If you want the applicable BLM maps for the bootheel, go here -

Keep in mind that some of the information on that page will be updated in a
few days.   But not the specific maps.

Second point - there IS a designated trail - and it's entirely on government
land - mostly BLM, some State.  Go here for details -


I think the same information will be on Jonathon's maps.

Walk softly,


dickebird wrote:

>I didn't want to ignore your post Tom. Good information and perspective. I
>finally found the time to read and digest Chapter 14 of your New Mexico
>trespass link. It really boils down to common sense but I would like to
>shift the emphasis of trespass from the hiker to the land manager/property
>owner. This link is a prime example of the piles of money the government
>spends on reams of pulp to explain simple rules. Some of that pulp budget
>could be spent on a color coded web-based map that each agency was expected
>to continually update on a quarterly basis as land issues changed.
>Information sharing would solve the majority of trespass issues created by
>hikers, hunters, horse, ATV, rockhounds, birders and berrypickers. It would
>end any question of what was legal right-of-way and what was not.
>The simple hiker solution is to establish a trail. Maybe it should be
>explained to those who oppose a trail in different terminology. We should
>call it the National Scenic Cattle Chute. Tell them we need to herd all
>those hikers through the high desert and keep them all together where we
>keep an eye on them. The class of 2007 is an example of how this trail is
>gaining in popularity with LDH's. Without a designated trail it is pretty
>easy to figure they will all be hiking a shotgun pattern across New Mexico.
>Ben (Franklin) said it best, "We must all hang together, or most assuredly
>we shall all hang separately." A trail, no different that I-10 or Rt. 66,
>should gain right-of-way in the same manner. It will improve the economy of
>every outpost along the trail and end all trespass issues--basic crowd
>I did camp in White Sands, but legally. You can get a backcountry permit
>from the Monument. They lock the gate at night so you are in for the
>duration even if aliens try to experiment on you. We always go during the
>full moon. In the words of John Denver it's, "Far Out."
>--Keep Smilin', Dick E. Bird

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