Regional
2:45 pm
Fri January 8, 2010

Protest Over Land Swap

New Mexico – Angry hunters and skeptical public officials grilled state Land Commissioner Pat Lyons over a package of state trust-land trades around Whites Peak in northern New Mexico.

The confrontation Thursday at the state Land Office in Santa Fe came after the first such deal closed, involving the Stanley Ranch.

Lyons held the meeting to offer state legislators more information about the trade. But the session often turned into heated exchanges, with Lyons and hunting guide Albert H. Goke shaking fingers at each other.

State Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, asked Lyons why the meeting was held on the day the main land trade was completed.

Lyons says consolidating state trust lands increases the value and will allow him to make more money for New Mexico off grazing leases and through camping, recreation and other activities.

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

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.