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Tuesday, March 08, 2011

SJC Tables Anti-Cultural Preservation Bill, Companion Bill Still Alive in NM House

On Monday night, a bill that would have thwarted New Mexicans’ ability to protect sacred, cultural, and historic sites was stalled in Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) by a tabling motion that passed 6-4.

“The Pueblo of Acoma is pleased with the committee’s decision,” Governor Randal Vicente of Acoma Pueblo said after the vote. “Tonight’s vote affirms the right of New Mexico Tribes to protect our culture and historical heritage for future generations.”

Senate Bill 421, Cultural Property Registration and Acquisition, sponsored by Sen. Rod Adair (R-Roswell), went through many iterations and amendments in a confusing hearing. The version that was voted on required a majority of all property and mineral rights owners to submit written consent before nominating a property for designation. Because property or mineral interest owners may not be New Mexico residents, this change could have transferred the decision-making power from New Mexicans to out-of-state entities -- and from property owners to extraction industries. Crazy stuff.

“New Mexico is home to rich cultural and historic sites that bolster the tourism industry in many local communities,” said Sandy Buffett, Executive Director of Conservation Voters New Mexico (CVNM). “Protecting the lands that are important to New Mexicans is not only responsible, but ensures that our communities are culturally and economically sound. We applaud the committee’s action to table SB 421.”

SB 421 has an identical companion bill, HB 422, which passed out of House Energy & Natural Resources Committee today (HENRC), and will move on to House Judiciary Committee (HJC). HB 422 is sponsored by Rep. Richard Vigil (D-Ribera).

Take Action: Contact your representative and members of the HJC and urge them to vote no on HB 422.

March 8, 2011 at 12:51 PM in Environment, History, Mining, Native Americans, NM Legislature 2011, Uranium | Permalink


Let me get this straight..There was a bill proposed that would in effect give Exxon, BP, ect the right to stop a Native Nation from declaring it's own land a protected spot ? Who's in charge here? Oh, that's right, a Governor who is owned lock stock and barrel (pun intended) by the gas and oil industry.

Posted by: Claudia Anderson | Mar 8, 2011 1:41:47 PM