A fee paid to the New Mexico Land Office by the Game and Fish Department that allows hunters to access public land may increase by $800,000.
State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has contended that the previous amount of $200,000 was too low.
A press release from Dunn’s office stated that Dunn and Director of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Alexa Sandoval agreed on a $1 million easement fee. The agreement still needs to be approved by the Department of Game and Fish Commission.
In a written statement, Dunn said the increased fee will help pay for other programs around the state.
“A fee increase of $800,000 could help fund 16 new teaching positions or help the development of an early childhood program,” Dunn said.
Earlier this month Dunn said he thought the easement negotiations were to blame for the release of text messages that led to the resignation of Jim Lane, a former assistant land commissioner and previously the director of the Game and Fish Department.
Lane resigned from the Game and Fish Department abruptly without explanation in 2013. The Albuquerque Journal released text messages that showed apparent sexual harassment ahead of his resignation.The release of the text messages caused Lane to resign from the State Land Commissioner’s office.