WASHINGTON (KAMR/KCIT) — The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources unanimously passed legislation today that aims to provide consultation between the federal government and land grant communities in relation to federal land management, according to a news release from the office of Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.).

The news release states that the Land Grant-Mercedes Traditional Use Recognition and Consultation Act is aimed at recognizing community land grants as an important part of the culture and history of New Mexico and will require the consideration of Historical Traditional Uses in federal land management planning.

According to the news release, the legislation requires the federal government to provide guidance on any permit requirements for qualified land grant-mercedes and traditional uses, including uses for routine maintenance, minor improvements, and major improvements.

“New Mexico’s land grant communities enrich the fabric of New Mexico culture and history. The federal government must prioritize consultation with land grant communities to ensure that their voices are heard and respected,” said Senator Luján. “Having worked on this issue for over a decade, I was proud that this legislation received such strong support in committee. I’m hopeful that we can pass this legislation into law – representing the most meaningful land grant legislation in generations.”

U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M.) introduced the legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and U.S. Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-N.M.) are original co-sponsors states the news release.