Preserving NM Land

New Mexico – A new law will allow the state to acquire conservation easements from ranchers and landowners to ensure property isn't developed.

Gov. Bill Richardson signed legislation into law on Monday that supporters say can help protect land in New Mexico, improve wildlife habitat and provide for open space for communities or recreation.

The new law also will establish a fund for the state to make grants for conservation and land restoration projects. The legislation was approved by lawmakers during a 30-day session that ended in February.

However, lawmakers allocated $5 million for conservation easements and other projects during a special session that ended last week.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.