PNS Daily Newscast - July 23, 2019 

A bipartisan deal reached to avert U.S. government default. Also on our Tuesday rundown: a new report calculates the high hospital costs for employers. Plus, new legislation could help protect Florida's at-risk wildlife.

Daily Newscasts

Saving New Mexico Ranches From the Bulldozer

October 7, 2011

LAS CRUCES, N. M. - What once were the wide open spaces of New Mexico are slowly being sold off, as ranches are turned into housing developments instead of being passed on to heirs. It's a change in the times noted at the recent Agricultural Land Conservation Forum hosted by the New Mexico Department of Agriculture.

Landowners in attendance learned about using agricultural conservation easements and related tax incentives to conserve their property. A group of New Mexico ranchers and farmers participated in a panel discussion about their experiences successfully using such easements, which also keep land in production. Among them was Dale Armstrong, who ranches near Magdalena.

"I think that future generations will be very grateful that some people did this to preserve the open space, and I think the government recognized that you giving up that value, and that's why there is some tax benefit to it."

For those who want to continue ranching, Armstrong explains, they can lower their tax burden by promising to keep the land in agricultural use under a conservation easement.

"There's a federal tax deduction when you earn income, then there is the estate tax credit and you can actually sell those credits, so it can pay for the profits of getting the easement put on."

While some ranchers may be hesitant about the easements, Armstrong notes he hasn't experienced anything negative. He runs cattle and says operations have continued on his ranch without interruption.

Dick Layman, Public News Service - NM