New Mexico – New Mexico Land Commissioner Ray Powell has issued a moratorium on certain leases for state lands while his office conducts a review.
The move was announced Tuesday, Powell's second day on the job.
Powell says the rule that governs planning and development leases is being reviewed and that no leases will be issued until the review is finished and local communities have an opportunity to weigh in.
The moratorium will affect two leases in the Rio Rancho area that were in the planning stages.
Powell says he intends to continue with planning and development leases, but he wants to make sure any pending and future leases have a full and public analysis to ensure they're in the best interest of the trust that benefits New Mexico school children and others.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.