Garcia Richard: Innovative Thinking Paying Off On State Lands

Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard, center, visits a new wind power project she approved on State Trust Land with Legislative Finance Committee Director David Abbey, left, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a new major customer buying this New Mexico generated energy and on site for the tour. Courtesy/SLO

New Mexico Commissioner Of Public Lands

It’s rare to find a community like Los Alamos, so committed to the educational success of younger generations. As a teacher and parent, this town embraced my family and gave me the incredible opportunity of serving as your state representative for six years, two of those as Chair of the House Education Committee.   

As a teacher, and later legislator, I’ve always been keenly aware of where our education funding comes from and have felt the volatility firsthand when oil and gas have a bad year. When I made the decision to run for the office of New Mexico Land Commissioner four years ago, I promised to deliver more money for our public schools and colleges while protecting the health of our public lands.

Since taking office, we’ve restored more acres of public land and raised more revenue for our teachers and classrooms than any previous land commissioner. In just this first term, we’ve earned over $5 billion and helped guarantee early childhood education funding and free college. 

This is more money than the land office has ever raised. This is the money that is going into our permanent fund to pay for teacher raises, improve schools, and give our kids the resources they need.

And we’ve done this while transforming renewable energy development throughout New Mexico. As soon as I was elected, I moved to create the office of renewable energy within the state land office and focus it on diversifying our energy portfolio and it worked.  We’ve tripled renewable energy production on state trust land, including securing the largest wind farm in the western hemisphere. I know this office can continue to lead on this issue and do more like help launch community solar. 

We’ve also increased access to our public lands, developed partnerships, and streamlined permitting to ensure our 2-billion-dollar outdoor recreation industry continues to thrive.

And I passed a law that ended decades of shady backroom deals at the state land office and was the only New Mexico elected official to stand up against Jeffrey Epstein by tearing up and cancelling the grazing leases from Epstein’s “ranch”, taking back our public land. 

I’m committed to continuing to diversify our state’s revenue streams, add new good paying jobs and guarantee our state’s rightful place as the leader in renewable energy.

To learn more about our State Land Office and what we do visit us at

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