Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Officials approve '30x30' resolution

 

July 21, 2021



The Quay County Commission on Friday unanimously approved a resolution stating its opposition to the federal government’s “30x30” land-preservation goal because it would cause “significant harm” to residents and businesses.

President Joe Biden issued an executive order in January that directed the Secretary of the Interior, with consultation of the Secretary of Agriculture and other senior officials, to develop a program to conserve at least 30% of lands and waters in the U.S. by 2030, hence the name of the 30x30 plan.

The resolution, recommended by county manager Daniel Zamora, states the president and federal agencies lack the constitutional or statutory authority to set aside such land.

If implemented, it is “likely to cause significant harm to the economy of Quay County and injure the County’s businesses and its citizens by depriving them of access to public lands and preventing the productive use of these land resources,” the resolution stated.

The resolution also states the withdrawal of 680 million acres of federal lands would cause “dramatic and irreversible harm” to western states, including New Mexico, and rural counties in particular.

The resolution supports “reasonable” greenhouse gas emission policies that “do not single out” industries or activities. Any land for 30x30 should be acquired only from willing landowners who would be compensated at fair-market value, it stated.

Commissioner Robert Lopez said he had “some problems” with the 30x30 plan, as well, especially with it being prompted by a presidential executive order.

“I don’t like things shoved down our throats,” he said.

Lopez said he also objected to the government acquiring land for preservation without compensating its owners. He also said he was troubled by a lack of information regarding the plan’s implementation.

Commissioner Jerri Rush said farmers and ranchers generally want to maintain the “good health” of land. She noted the difference between conservation and preservation, where the latter principle keeps land in its current state without improving it.

The Logan school board earlier in the week approved a similar resolution.

In other business:

• Commissioners approved a funding request of $3,240 to the Tucumcari Historical Research Institute that manages the Tucumcari Historical Museum.

Action on the request was tabled during a previous meeting until Zamora could find funds from the county’s just-completed 2021-2022 budget.

The museum will use the money to hire an attendant so it can increase its hours of operation. Museum officials have said with more revenue coming from longer hours, they anticipate the museum would become self-sufficient.

Rush abstained from voting because she’s an institute member.

• C. Renee Hayoz, administrator of the Quay County Family Health Center, said a long-awaited behavioral health interventionist will begin working at the clinic this week or Aug. 2. With that, Hayoz said the clinic would begin more community outreach efforts for behavioral health care.

She said the clinic is doing more face-to-face patient care with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, though insurance policies generally will continue to cover video and phone patient consultations until the end of the year.

Hayoz also said the clinic still requires masks for patients — with objections by some — and will continue to ask COVID-19 screening questions.

She said she also would know by next month when flu vaccines will be available.

• Andrea Shafer, the county’s DWI Program coordinator, said 15 DWI arrests were recorded during the April-to-June period, compared to seven the same time last year. She noted DWI arrests were low a year ago due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders.

• Zamora noted the county’s gross receipts tax revenue in July was at 90% of the level it was in July 2020. He surmised it’s because more residents are shopping out-of-town compared to a year ago and that several major construction projects recently ended. “It’s my shameless plug to shop local,” he said.

• Commission Chairman Franklin McCasland praised the Quay County Fair Board for its salute to county employee Danny Estrada in its program for the Aug. 12-14 fair. Estrada has prepared the county fairgrounds for the event for the past 17 years.

“Although it takes several weeks to get everything ready and back to normal afterwards, he looks forward to seeing Quay County families, catching up with 4-H kids at the concession and fair barn, and visiting with those people you only see regularly at the Fair,” the fair book's salute states in part. “In fact, you will always find Danny at the Fair helping keep everything going smoothly and at prime operation for guests that visit.”

 
 

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