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New Mexico Landowners Petition to SCOTUS on River Access Denied

Posted: 02/27/2023
By: Hattie Johnson

Last year, the Supreme Court of New Mexico unanimously upheld the state constitution by affirming the public’s right to access all rivers and streams for recreational purposes. Today, landowners who had been fighting for years to exclude the public - in many cases physically by installing barbed wire fences - from rivers that run through their property, had their petition to overturn the state court’s decision denied. 

These landowners are two of the original holders of non navigable water certificates for river segments on their properties. These certifications were approved and distributed by the NM Game Commission under a rule that the state supreme court found unconstitutional in last year’s ruling. Without further recourse within state lines, the landowners took their argument to the Supreme Court of the United States. We are overjoyed that this case will not be heard and the state court decision will stand.

Image credit: Scott Carpenter


American Whitewater

Hattie Johnson

Phone: 970-456-8533
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