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Category: To The Point

by Caren Cowan

With the General Election for our nation’s next president more than six months away, I am not sure how much more I, or the rest of the American public, can stand. At our house we generally listen to about an hour of Fox News in the morning, an hour of network news in the evening and 30 minutes of local news at night. Hopefully that provides somewhat of a balanced overview of what is going on the in the world.

Not so much lately.… Read the rest


That’s the position the New Mexico Center on Law & Poverty put to anyone and everyone — anywhere in the United States — in agriculture during testimony on Senate Bill 244, the workers’ compensation ag exemption bill, during the 2016 Legislature. According to Gale Evans (no relation to Dale that we can find), the Legal Director of the Center since 2004, stated with great force that agricultural workers’ comp exemptions were created in the Reconstruction Era in the South (following the Civil War).Read the rest


A law enforcement officer shooting a man reaching for something will get you charged with murder in Albuquerque. That may not hold true for the FBI. At least that’s how things stand after the FBI shot and killed an Arizona man in Oregon who got out of his vehicle hands up, shouting just shoot me.

Robert “LaVoy” Finicum, rancher, father of 11, and husband from Cane Beds, Arizona, traveled to Harney County, Oregon to join a protest of the imprisonment of fellow ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond — and of the federal government’s ownership and oppressive management of almost half of the landmass in the western states.… Read the rest


by Caren Cowan, Executive Director, NMCGA

Well, probably not so much. Clearly there will be new opportunities to deal with new challenges, but that doesn’t clean the slate of all the old opportunities to deal with the old challenges.

We are just weeks away from the 2016 Legislature. It will be a 30-day budget Session, but the agricultural community has a host of measures on tap that will hopefully provide relief from those leftover challenges.… Read the rest


As we continue to attempt to protect the landowners who care for New Mexico’s wildlife, messages out of the New Mexico Tax & Revenue Department (TRD) become more bizarre. To recap, in late September numerous landowners who receive elk authorizations for use on their property received letters from the TRD stating that they may be liable for gross receipts tax on those authorizations.

Landowners have the option of filing for a managed audit.Read the rest


by Caren Cowan

Long live New Mexico sounds good, right? “Viva New Mexico: A Statewide Plan for Outdoor Recreation” doesn’t sound bad either… right up until you figure out that the goal of the plan is to take more land out of private ownership and reducing the tax base; to delve into health care, education and job placement services; and to develop broad “ordinance and jurisdiction” all with federal Land & Water Conservation Funds (LWCF).Read the rest


Generally this column is filled with the bad news of the day. There will be some of that, but first, let’s celebrate some wins.
In late August the Federal District Court in North Dakota granted an injunction against the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draconian Waters of the U.S. regulations. The regulations were scheduled to take affect on August 28, 2015. For New Mexico and 12 other states the rules did not take hold, at least until the litigation moves forward.… Read the rest