By NM Land Commissioner | December 19, 2017
The New Mexico State Land Office will be closed for the Christmas and New Years holidays beginning Friday, December 22 at 1:00 p.m. through Monday, January 1. The office will reopen on Tuesday, January 2.
SANTA FE, NM – In an effort to protect one of New Mexico’s most scenic and historic landscapes, State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn has negotiated a lease with the Village of Ruidoso to bolster recreation on Moon Mountain.
Since 1905, the State Land Office has owned and managed 630 acres of State Trust Lands on Moon Mountain and under Commissioner Dunn’s direction the entire parcel will be open to hikers, mountain bikers, and lovers of the great outdoors.
“Former land commissioners Ray Powell and Pat Lyons and I have taken a proactive role in creating a healthy forest through remediation and flood mitigation and now the public will have greatly enhanced access to explore the mountain,” said Commissioner Dunn.
In 2016, the Moon Mountain Fire scorched 125 acres but demonstrated the value of active forest management which limited the fire’s size and severity. In the wake of the fire, flood mitigation work saved Ruidoso High School from washing away.
According to the lease agreement, the Village will offer expanded hiking and mountain bike trail systems, install an 18-hole Frisbee golf course, open a community observatory for stargazing, and improve parking areas.
“Moon Mountain is in the center of the Village and will be a boon for eco-tourism for many years to come,” said Commissioner Dunn. “I commend the leaders of the Village of Ruidoso for their diligence in creating something special for the entire community.”
The first year’s rent is $5,000 and will escalate by two percent annually over the course of the 25-year lease.
The beneficiary of revenues earned from the lease is New Mexico State University.