House committee stops ‘30 by 30’ land grab bill on bipartisan vote

On Tuesday, the House Rural Development, Land Grants, and Cultural Affairs Committee tabled an extreme bill, H.B. 45, by state Rep. Matthew McQueen (D-Santa Fe) that would create a fund to pay for the “acquisitions of land, conservation and agricultural easements and other interests in land and by funding land restoration to protect the land and water available for forests and watersheds, natural areas, wildlife and wildlife habitat, agricultural production on working farms and ranches, outdoor recreation and trails and land and habitat restoration and management.”

The bill mimics Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s “30 by 30” program to force at least 30 percent of public land into public “conservation” by the year 2030.

All but two members, Rep. Tara Lujan (D-Santa Fe) and the committee chairwoman, Rep. Kristina Ortez (D-Taos) voted against the measure. Democrat Reps. Ambrose Castellano (D-Ribera) and Joseph Sanchez (D-Alcalde) joined all the Republicans on the panel to reject the proposal.

The advocacy group Save Our Western Way of Life wrote on Facebook following the bill’s defeat, “Today our western way of life had a small win. HB45 DIED IN COMMITTEE! The bill, introduced by Representative McQueen, would have used taxpayer dollars to reduce the amount of land used for farming, ranching, and hunting.” 

“The farmers, ranchers, and foresters are the true conservationists. Not only do they care for the land, they provide our families with affordable, high quality food.” 

The death of the bill in committee is a positive improvement during the 2023 Legislative Session for conservatives, who have not had much luck thus far in stopping far-left legislation.


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