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Law Enforcement Objectives

The Forestry Division Law Enforcement Program is responsible for protecting New Mexico’s forested land and maintaining the best forest management practices through the implementation of New Mexico state statutes and the Division’s regulations. The following objectives have been established:

  • To inform and educate the public of existing state statutes and Division regulations.
  • Develop and participate in statewide prevention programs.
  • Maintain an awareness of conditions and situations that may lead to violations of Division regulations and state statutes.
  • Build a public trust by showing a greater presence and availability to the private landowner by conducting regular patrols and answering public complaints in a timely manner.
  • Build cooperation with other state and local law enforcement agencies with regard to Division regulations and state statutes.
  • Apply firm and consistent law enforcement by conducting thorough investigations.
  • Comply with the judicial procedures.


NMSA 1978, Sections 68-2-4 and 68-2-14 provide the Forestry Division’s law enforcement authority. Pursuant to this limited authority the Forestry Division may enforce the following statutes:

NMSA 1978, Section 75-6-1:

Endangered plant species; definition; conservation; penalty; protection; permits

NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-9:

Penalty for obstruction.

NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-14:

Enforcement of laws; investigations of violations.

NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-16:

Rules and regulations of the Division.

NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-17:

Laws; Rules and Regulations; Violations; Penalties.

NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-22:

Cutting and removing materials without consent.

NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-26:

Enforcement; Forest Conservation Act.

NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-27:

Using False Information to comply with Forest Conservation Act.

With the authority provided in NMSA 1978, Section 68-2-14, the Division is also authorized to enforce the following laws:

NMSA 1978, Section 19-6-1

Fires on state lands; lighting or leaving; penalty.

NMSA 1978, Section 19-6-2

Duty to extinguish fires; penalty for failure.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-7-22

Interference with bomb or fire control.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-8-4


NMSA 1978, Section 30-14-1

Criminal trespass.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-14-1.1

Types of trespass; injury to realty, civil damages.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-14-6

No trespassing notice; sign contents; posting; requirements prescribing a penalty for wrongful posting of public lands.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-15-1

Criminal damage to property.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-15-2

Rocks, protected plants or trees within four hundred yards of the highway.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-16-1


NMSA 1978, Section 30-17-1

Improper handling of fire.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-17-2

Use of an engine without spark arrester.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-17-5

Arson and negligent arson.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-17-6

Aggravated arson.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-32-1

Fires extinguished by officers; responsibility for costs.

NMSA 1978, Section 30-32-3

Arrest for violating forest fire law.

The Division only possesses authority under the following section as it relates to timber, trees, and firewood. It does not possess authority over extraction or removal of minerals, gas, etc.

NMSA 1978, Section 19-6-3

The Division is also authorized to enforce the following statutes when the violation involves forested, cutover, or brush lands.

NMSA 1978, Section 19-6-4

Any person who shall cut down, remove, destroy or injure, or who shall take, remove or carry away, any timber, trees or firewood standing, growing or lying upon any state lands, …

Forestry Division Rule filed as:


New Mexico Administrative Code Fire Restrictions


New Mexico Administrative Code Commercial Timber Harvesting Requirements