Sportsmen to rally at New Mexico capitol against public land transfers

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SANTA FE, New Mexico — Some sportsmen are worried that legislation calling for the transfer of federal public lands to state control could be introduced in New Mexico.

While no such bills have been filed yet, the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and other groups are planning to rally Thursday at the State Capitol to voice their opposition to the idea.

Critics say a transfer law, like the one Utah passed in 2012, would amount to an assault on hunting and fishing access. They also argue that the state would be saddled with the costs of managing the land.

New Mexico includes about 9 million acres of national forests and 13 million acres of land overseen by the Bureau of Land Management.

The director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation, Garrett VeneKlasen, says hunters and anglers have been using these lands for generations.

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