[TAKE ACTION] We thought we had won. But the stream access issue is back and the people of New Mexico need to speak up

The New Mexico Game and Fish Commission has just called a last-minute emergency meeting to try to push through a new rule limiting New Mexicans access to our public streams and rivers. The proposed rule would infringe upon the constitutional rights of New Mexico citizens and tourists to utilize publicly accessible streams and their streambeds, including those flowing through or adjacent to private property, for fishing, boating, or other recreational purposes. The rule also holds out a false promise to landowners, who would be required to undergo an arduous process to have a stream certified as non-navigable and subject to the new rule and trespass statute. We wrote about this about a month ago so if you’d like to learn more, go check out that article here. And all of this is happening while the New Mexico Constitution and the New Mexico Supreme Court have already made this abundantly clear: the state’s waters are for all New Mexico citizens, not just the wealthy few.

[Take Action] Stream access rights have deeper implications for all New Mexicans

As an engaged citizenry, we are accustomed to fighting for the rights we deserve. Part of that, unfortunately, is fighting for rights that were taken away, often hastily and discretely, often related to protecting the interests of campaign donors. So is the case with stream access in New Mexico – a right that was guaranteed by water law when New Mexico was still a territory, reiterated in our state constitution in 1911, backed by a 1945 Supreme Court opinion, and upheld again in 2014 by another opinion by then-Attorney General Gary King. Last year ProgressNow NM’s Education Fund helped bring attention to this issue through a series of commercials and with YOUR help. More than 100 years of state history was quickly unwound in 2015, when Senate Bill 226 passed the Senate by a wide margin in the early afternoon of the next-to-last day of the 60-day session, then passed the House on a party-line vote that evening, and signed into law by the governor a few days later.