New Mexico Land Grant Council supports land grant-merced bills introduced by Congressmen Luján and Pearce

Submitted by carchuleta on Wed, 07/25/2018 - 08:00

For the past several years, the Land Grant Council has been working with land grants-mercedes throughout the State and with the Congressional delegation to develop federal legislation that addresses historical injustices resulting from the incomplete implementation of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. [see attached briefing paper on Land Grant History and Current Legislation below]  Today, Congressman Ben Ray Luján introduced the “Land Grant and Acequia Traditional Use Recognition Act” (H.R. 6487), which provides for greater consultation between the federal government and New Mexico’s land grants-mercedes and acequias. If passed land grant-merced communities in New Mexico would, for the first time, receive federal recognition of traditional uses (such as fuelwood or herb gathering) on former common lands managed by federal agencies.   

On July 13th, Congressman Steve Pearce introduced the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Land Claims Act of 2018” (H.R. 6365), which would examine the impact that the unjust adjudication of the land claims had on land grant-merced communities.  Representatives of the governing bodies of land grants-mercedes would have an opportunity to appear in front of a commission to present how the loss of land to the federal government has impacted the economic, environmental, and social well-being of their communities.  The commission would then make recommendations for restitution to Congress, including possible land returns.

The New Mexico Land Grant Council is in full support of the bills introduced by Congressmen Luján and Pearce.  The proposed federal legislation is the culmination of the combined efforts of the Council, the New Mexico Land Grant Consejo (a grassroots land grant-merced organization), and individual land grant-merced governing boards and heirs, who have worked with the Congressional delegation to address the federal ownership of former land grant common lands, a longstanding and unresolved issue effecting New Mexico’s land grant-merced communities.

“It’s a momentous occasion when two federal bills addressing land grants-mercedes are introduced in the same month,” said New Mexico Land Grant Council Chairman Juan Sánchez.  “These issues surrounding the federal control of land grant-merced common lands have gone unresolved far too long and land grant communities have suffered many hardships as a result.  We applaud these efforts by Congressman Luján and Congressman Pearce and will work toward the passage of this important legislation.”

New Mexico Land Grant Consejo President Leonard Martínez stated, “Since its creation in 2006, the New Mexico Land Grant Consejo has worked closely with land grants and our representatives in Congress to address the injustices perpetrated on our communities.  These pieces of legislation are a step in that direction.”  

In announcing the introduction of H.R. 6487, Congressman Luján’s stated, “New Mexico’s acequias and land grants have been part of our communities, our families, our villages, and our agriculture economy for generations . . . I’m proud to introduce legislation that formally recognizes how land grants and acequias use and care for our land because I know firsthand their importance to our state. My legislation will also help ensure that the federal government consults with land grants and acequias when taking actions that might impact local communities.”

Congressman Pearce’s statement accompanying the introduction of H.R. 6365 called it an “effort to provide these communities another chance to have their claims reviewed to ensure the terms that these families were originally promised by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo are upheld.”  “I believe it is time that the federal government upholds what was promised. Justice is long past due for these communities,” Pearce stated.

The New Mexico Land Grant Council is a state agency whose mission is to support to land grants-mercedes throughout New Mexico, including to develop and promote federal legislation for an appropriate congressional response to longstanding community land grant claims in New Mexico.  Additional information about the Council’s efforts can be obtained by contacting the Council’s program manager, Arturo Archuleta at 505.328.4104 or the Council’s research historian, Dr. Jacobo Baca at 505.400.9426, or at   

November Meeting Notice

Date: Friday, November 16th, 2018

Time: The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m.

Location: Science and Technology  Building, Room 202

851 University Blvd. SE, Suite 202  Albuquerque, NM 87106

Reasonable accommodations will be made for special needs. Please contact:
NM Land Grant Council
1829 Sigma Chi. Rd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
Telephone: 505-934-7389

New Mexico Land Grant Council Meeting Notice

Date: Friday, March 10, 2017.

Time: The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m.

Location:New Mexico Commission of Public Records at the State Records Center and Archives- Pinon Room (Rm 2027)

1205 Camino Carlos Rey, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507

Anyone needing special assistance should call Cheyenne Trujillo @ 505.934-7389

Land Grant Leadership Retreat

On December 10th, 2016 the New Mexico Land Grant Council co hosted with the New Mexico Land Grant Consejo and UNM Land Grant Studies Program the first ever Land Grant Leadership Retreat at IAIA in Santa Fe, NM from 9am to 5pm. This retreat was to figure out what issues land grants are facing as federal, state and individual levels. To create a start on how to market NM land grants to everyone. We had over 25 people show up from different land grants, state agencies, different representatives and  state legislators. Overall this event was a huge success and provide future steps for land grants. To understand more about this event feel free to view the attached agenda with background information for this Amazing Event!


Commemoration of the 169th Anniversary of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

On February 2nd, 2017 the New Mexico Land Grant Council co-hosted with the New Mexico Land Grant Consejo the 169th Annual Commemoration of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo at the Santa Fe Roundhouse. This year the New Mexico Land Grant Consejo presented  Life Time Achievement Awards to Mr. Charlie Chacón of the San Joaquín del Río de Chama Land Grant and Mr. Adelicio Herrera of the Cañón de Carnué Land Grant on the floor of the House of Representatives. Venessa Chavez-Gutierrez, president of the Tajique Land Grant, will be this year’s MC.  This will be an opportunity to get updates on status on land grants in New Mexico, including state and federal legislation affecting land grants as well as hear from elected officials. The keynote speaker for the commemoration is New Mexico's former state historian Mr. Robert Tórrez. Entertainment this year was provided by the  Baile Ilusion of Las Vegas.

Upcoming Deadlines/Information


Good Afternoon Land Grant Community Leaders,

This is a reminder on some important dates and information that may need to be known by your land grant.

1. The Interim Budget and Resolution are due June 1st. If you have any questions or need further information please contact the DFA Budget Analysis

 (505) 827-8059  (505) 827-8062
Atrisco Land Grant  
Acequia De la Canova Acequia de Alcalde
Acequia De la Cienega Acequia de La Agua Caliente
Acequia De la Otra Vanda  Acequia de La Isla
Acequia De los Chupaderos  Acequia de La Otra Banda
Acequia del BarranCo Blanco Acequia De La Plaza De Dixon
Acequia del Monte (del Rio Chiquito) Acequia de Llano de San Juan Nepomuceno
Acequia Madre Del Cerro Del Guadalupe Acequia del Ancon
Acequia San Rafael del Guique  Acequia del Cano
Anton Chico Land Grant Acequia del los Espinosa 
  Acequia del Potrero
  Acequia Madre Del Prado del Rio Lucero
  Acequias de Chamisal y Ojito
  Juan Bautista Baldes Land Grant 
  La Acequia Del Llano 
  La Merced del Pueblo de Chililli Land Grant
  Don Fernando De Taos Land Grant 
  Merced del Pueblo de San Joaquin del Rio De Chama
  Town of Tome Land Grant

  2. There will be a ICIP Training on May 31st at UNM Dane Smith Hall rm 141 at 10am. There will be coffee and water in the morning and then lunch will be provided. If you have any questions contact Cheyenne Trujillo at 505-934-7389.

3. ICIP is due June 15th. Attached is the guidebook. Have any questions contact ICIP Help Desk @; (505) 827-4950

Thank you for your time and attention!

New Mexico Land Grant Council Meeting Notice

Date: Thursday, June 22, 2017

Time: The meeting will convene at 10:00 a.m.

Location: San Antonio de las Huertas Land Grant Building in Placitas

                                       41 B Camino de las Huertas, Placitas, NM  87043

Anyone needing special assistance should call Cheyenne Trujillo @ 505.934-7389