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Public New Mexico aims to be a current, compelling, reliable source for news relating to the over 30 million acres of public land within the state’s borders. We’re talking about lands that are managed by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and others, along with the various arms of the State of New Mexico.

Why dedicate a news site to New Mexico’s public lands? First, most them are publicly accessible for different kinds of activities: hiking, fishing, hunting, timber harvesting and so on. They are, in a very real sense, “ours,” with both the rights and obligations that ownership implies. This site aims to publish accurate, timely information that will be useful in the discourse between the public and the agencies that manage public lands.

Moreover, these lands are key parts of the natural and cultural history of New Mexico. They are places where people supplement their living, places where people develop and renew a sense of stewardship of our natural resources, and places where values and traditions are passed on within families and communities. This site is intended to be a resource for people who use public lands in the various forms that are common here in New Mexico.

Finally, public lands nationwide are the focus of billions of dollars in spending, and thus are important to New Mexico’s political landscape. They are economic drivers. And like the rest of the Southwest, their engines are sensitive to the effects of climate change. This site takes change as a given: We see public lands as dynamic places that are sensitive to both their environment and to the changing needs and uses of local communities.

Our aim is to keep an eye on policy, spending, access, impacts and trajectories for public lands in the state. We strive for clear, compelling, no-nonsense, data-driven coverage. We know we’ll fall short of that goal — this is a volunteer effort, after all — but we hope you’ll help make us better.