Longstanding Rights-of-Way Issues Settled

Media Contact: Mary Carlson, (505) 462-3576

For Release: January 31, 2018

SANTA FE, NM – The resolution of longstanding road rights-of-way issues in the Pojoaque Basin is being recognized as a significant and historic event for Santa Fe County, the Pueblos of Nambe, Pojoaque, San Ildefonso and Tesuque and for the United States.

The Santa Fe County Commission voted unanimously, 5 to 0, on Tuesday to approve settlement agreements with each of the four Pueblos and the Department of Interior to settle rights-of-way issues over a number of disputed roads. Through each agreement, the Pueblos grant road rights-of-way to either the County or the Bureau of Indian Affairs for placement on the BIA Tribal Transportation Program.

The New Mexico Land Title Association reviewed the agreements and stated in a letter to the county that “based on the intentions and commitments of the parties as embodied in the Settlement Agreement, the NMLTA is committed to continue to work with the parties to the Settlement Agreement and with the Office of the New Mexico Superintendent of Insurance to be able to provide title insurance that includes access coverage for the properties.”

“This settlement is a great accomplishment not only for Santa Fe County and the Pueblos, but for all who will now have legal resolution to their access issues,” said Alan Mikkelsen, Chair of the Department of Interior’s Working Group on Indian Water Settlements. “This is also a great step for all of the parties to the Aamodt Litigation Settlement as it now allows for the implementation of the settlement to move forward.”

These agreements require Santa Fe County and the United States to enter into a funding agreement for the Pojoaque Basin Regional Water System, which will be constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation under the Settlement.

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