In Opposition to
Conversion of Land Grant
into Wilderness Areas
15 December 2015
As a bloodline heir, to the Trampas Land Grant (Spanish Grant: 15 July 1751) and incidentally, also to the Santa Barbara Land Grant. I write this, in opposition to and of any effort — to convert the common lands of these land grants into “Wilderness Areas”. I assert that these two land grants have patents from the United States Congress, and as such, hold certain sovereignty rights – superior to any government or other entity.
Historically, these “Grant and Royal Possession” grants were awarded by Spain in the same manner as were all land grants (Indian & Non-Indian). According to International Law, sovereignties may change, but title to the land involved, does not (please see: Land Title Study, Koch, et al). Certain rights were reiterated and solidified by Spain and Mexico with the Treaty of Cordova (28 September 1821). Shortly thereafter, all its inhabitants were declared “free” and “equal” via the Plana de Iguala (24 February 1822).
When the territory, north of the 38th parallel, was ceded to the United States of America via the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo: A Treaty of Peace Between the United States and Mexico (2 February 1848); and in accordance with Articles VIII & IX, of this same treaty, the heirs of these land grants — chose “…to remain and acquire the title and rights of Citizens of the United States of America”. In other words, heirs to the land grants were accepted by the U.S. government as U.S. Citizens with all the inherent rights of U.S. Citizens, including due process.
The United States Congress issued a Quit Claim Deed, thereby admitting that the U.S. had no claim over these lands. In the case of Las Trampas Land Grant, it was issued as Patent No #114066: Town of Las Trampas, a “…quit claim or relinquishment on the part of the United States…” on 3 March 1869. This document (based upon the Clayton Coleman Survey of May 1981 for 28,131.6672 acres) was signed by the President of the United States of America, Theodore Roosevelt on 26 January 1903.
Thus, these lands are protected, as provided by Spanish tradition and law, International Law of Conquest, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Kearny Code, Article V of the Gadsden Treaty, and most importantly, Paragraph 2 of Article VI of the United States Constitution. We, the heirs of the land grant, also assert “sovereign immunity from suit”, based upon the Bill of Rights of the United States of America Constitution and the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968. In our By-Laws, we affirmed our loyalty and commitment, as citizens of the United States of America, to the Constitution of the United States of America and to our common ideals of life, liberty and peace…, freedom of every individual’s pursuit of happiness and equal protection of property and rights.
I respectfully ask you, even urge you to study, in greater detail, the items I have identified, above. I also encourage you to read — United States of America Vs. Jose Juan Lucero, 423 USC 1869 wherein Spanish land grants were issued to Indians on the same basis as other citizens; USA does not have authority to act on behalf of owners of land grant — (Also summarizes New Mexico history including: Plan of Iguala, 24 Feb 1821 and Treaty of Cordova, 24 Feb 1822).
Because we assert our sovereignty and because all treaties entered into…, by the United States Congress…, are “supreme law”; any laws or agreements, by any entity, regarding the patent lands are null and void. Also, as far as I am concerned, the U.S. Forest Service is holding our common lands in violation of law and has yet to prove legal entitlement to them. These lands were stolen by the infamous “Santa Fe Ring” then traded for lumber rights. Thus far, we have been denied “due process”.
We have been working with the New Mexico Legislative Land Grant Committee (and the U.S. Senate) for many decades; and would appreciate your assistance in:
1) Redeeming our common lands from the U.S. Congress and in
2) Denying any efforts to convert land grant common lands into a wilderness area.
This “Wilderness Area” proposal, currently under consideration, would grant jurisdiction and control of these lands, exclusively to a private entity, a group of people from outside the State of New Mexico, with absolutely no ties to this land. Neither the U.S. Forest Service, nor the State of New Mexico, nor the County of Taos, nor the County of Rio Arriba, nor the heirs, nor the residents of the proposed land conversion would have any rights to even enter those lands, without permission of this private “foreign” management organization.
Again, as bloodline heir, to the Trampas Land Grant and to the Santa Barbara Land Grant. I oppose any effort — to convert the common lands of these land grants into “Wilderness Areas”. Patented land grants are, in my opinion, sovereign nations, and as such, granted by the U.S. Congress, protection of “supreme law”. I assert that these two land grants have patents from the United States Congress, and as such, hold certain sovereignty rights superior to any government or other entity.
Former Trustee, LTLGA (1998-2008)