Regional
4:10 pm
Tue January 25, 2011

New Mexico Land Exchange Rejected

New Mexico – The New Mexico Supreme Court has rejected the exchange of state trust land for private land around White Peak in northeastern New Mexico, ruling the State Land Office did not follow a requirement for public auction of trust lands.

Former state Land Commissioner Patrick Lyons negotiated the land exchanges in 2009, but Attorney General Gary King challenged them since the land swaps had not been done by auction.

King had alleged Lyons violated New Mexico's Enabling Act in approving the swap of 7,205 acres of trust land for 3,330 acres of ranch land owned by David Stanley.

Stanley had no comment Monday until he can read the Supreme Court decision.

Lyons says the Land Office followed the procedures used in a many other trust land exchanges.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.