March 23, 2023

Governor signs conservation funding, wildlife crossing bills


Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law on Thursday a bill to fund conservation programs and another bill aimed at reducing the number of animals hit by vehicles.

SB 9 sets up two funds. One of the funds, the Conservation Legacy Permanent Fund, is a permanent fund that will generate interest that will be used by the other fund, the Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund. The Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund will distribute the money to state agencies to use for existing conservation programs including forest health and soils. 

Related: Bill creating a fund for conservation programs heads to governor’s desk

The Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund was one of the governor’s priorities this year and SB 9 builds upon Lujan Grisham’s executive budget recommendations.

SB 72, the Wildlife Corridors Fund, creates a way to leverage state funds to pair with federal dollars for wildlife corridors such as overpasses intended to help wildlife safely cross highways.

This was identified as a need by the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish and the New Mexico Department of Transportation.

In 2022, the two state agencies released a Wildlife Corridors Action Plan.