The New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative Is A Front Group Created By A Wealthy Texan Who Led The Push To Privatize New Mexico’s Streams 

The Chama Trout Stalkers Ranch Is A “Working Ranch” That Says It Is Focused On “Conservation, Holistic Management And Education”

The Chama Trout Stalkers Is A “Working Ranch.” “Trout Stalker Ranch is a 1,500 acre ranch located in the Chama Valley, eight miles south of Colorado. We are a working ranch and we welcome travelers for immersive visits. The nature around us is our guide for all that we do with conservation and regeneration being a key factor in our mission. Our goal is to provide you with warm hospitality, comfort, and exciting activities.” [Chama Trout Stalkers, accessed 09/11/19]

CTS  Says “Conservation, Holistic Management And Education” Are The Three Initiatives That Leverage The Land. “Conservation, holistic management and education are three initiatives that leverage our land. We use and consider migration paths, calving grounds, management methods of native animals, fire management plans, water and stream conservation in our initiatives. We focus on holistic solutions that improve soil health, climate stability, water quality and availability, animal welfare, human health and rewinding, economic prosperity and biodiversity. Education is the third key to our multifaceted approach and we want to share our land with you! Hospitality, workshops, and retreats invite you into our world to enjoy connecting with nature and animals, as we learn how to build a better future as a community.” [Chama Trout Stalkers, accessed 09/11/19]

The Owner Of Chama Trout Stalkers Ranch Is An Oil And Mining Lawyer Who Formed The New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative To Privatize New Mexico’s Streams

Dan Perry Is An Attorney Representing Mineral Owners In Negotiating Their Oil, Gas And Uranium Leases.  Perry “represents mineral owners in negotiating their oil, gas and uranium leases, and then audits royalty payments and tracks the performance of the lease covenants.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

  • Perry Was An Oil And Gas Lawyer From Texas. “Dan Perry, a former Texas resident who now is an oil and gas lawyer in Santa Fe. He owns the Trout Stalker Ranch in Chama.” [New Mexico Political Report, 01/19/17]

After Dan Perry Purchased The Trout Stalker Ranch In 2011, He Restricted Public Access Across Its Waterways With Cables. “Dan Perry sees it differently. He bought the first section of his Trout Stalker Ranch in northern New Mexico in 2011, when the Rio Chamita that runs through it flowed Technicolor with toxic magnesium, phosphorus, and other chemicals leaked from the wastewater treatment plant upstream. He worked with the New Mexico governor to secure $8m for a cleanup effort. […] Perry has easements on the north and south end of his property for public river access, but he restricts the majority of the waterway with a cable across the river hung with a No Trespassing sign. […] Many landowners, including Perry, allow private outfitters access to the water they’ve fenced off to the public, bolstering the view of many New Mexicans that this is the latest example of turning public lands over to a wealthy elite and private interests while shutting out the public itself. ‘It’s like someone walking into my house without ringing the doorbell and telling me that I can’t sit on my couch any more,’ says Steve Polaco, president of the Tierra Amarilla Land Grant, a historic land grant whose heirs have traditionally fished some of the waterways in question.” [The Guardian, 03/15/18]

Perry Was Active In Passing A Law To  BarThe Public From Access To Public Streams That Run Through Private Property. “He was active in the successful effort by ranchers and others during the 2015 legislative session to get a bill passed, and signed by Gov. Susana Martinez, that bars the public from walking or wading in streams that run through private property without written permission. It was narrowly approved – passing the House by just a single vote – and Perry wants to make sure it doesn’t get undone in the Legislature.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

  • Bill Backers Argued That Allowing Public Access On Private Property Could Disturb Or Destroy Habitat Improvements Made By Landowners. “The bill’s backers argued that allowing public access to streams on private property could disturb or destroy riparian habitat improvements that landowners had made significant investments in. Opponents objected that the bill was vague and perhaps unconstitutional, that courts should decide the critical question of whether streambeds are public, and that the bill was part of a broader assault on public resources.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

Perry Established The New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative To Maintain That Law. “‘We want to maintain that law. That’s one reason we set up the initiative,’ he told the Journal on Wednesday.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

  • NMHCI’s Major Focuses Include Protecting Private Property Rights And Promoting Conservation Stewardship. “Protecting private property rights and promoting conservation stewardship will be major focuses of the Habitat Conservation Initiative, he said.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]
  • NMHCI Lobbyist Said There Is No Specific Legislation They Are Interested In, But They Are “Prepared To Address Issues If They Come Up.” “There is no other specific legislation on the horizon that the group is interested in, “but we’re prepared to address issues if they come up,” said lawyer Marco Gonzales, the lobbyist for Trout Stalker Ranch.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

The New Mexico Habitat Conservative Initiative’s Suspicious Campaign Spending Was Referred To The New Mexico Attorney General 

The New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative’s Campaign Spending Was Referred To The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office After An Audit Found “Questionable Expenditures.” “A review of New Mexico campaign spending reports done by Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s office has turned up questionable expenditures by several candidates and political committees. In one case, the Secretary of State’s Office said it had referred to the Attorney General’s Office a case involving a group registered as a nonprofit that spent $47,500 in the 2016 election cycle. That group, the New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative, gave money primarily to Republican state political committees and was formed by Dan Perry, a Santa Fe attorney who pushed for a 2015 law that bars the public from walking or wading in streams that run through private property without written permission.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/08/17]

  • The Audit Determined The Group May Have Been Operating “Primarily For Political Purposes.” “The secretary of state’s report, released Wednesday, said it is ‘possible’ the group operates primarily for political purposes, which would require it to register with the state as a political committee.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/08/17]
  • The Secretary Of State Report Noted The Group Would Be Required To Register As A Political Committee If It Operated Primary For Political Purposes. “The secretary of state’s report, released Wednesday, said it is ‘possible’ the group operates primarily for political purposes, which would require it to register with the state as a political committee.”  [Albuquerque Journal, 06/08/17]

New Mexico Habitat Conservative Initiative Gave $10,000 To Four Republican-affiliated PACs And $5,000 To New Mexico House Majority Leader To Maintain The Republican Majority. “Habitat Conservation Initiative made its first political contributions in May, giving $10,800 to each of four Republican-affiliated political action committees and $5,000 to the campaign of House Majority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, who is spearheading the effort to get Republicans elected in November and keep the GOP’s hold on the House. The amounts were the maximum allowable for the 2016 election cycle.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

  • NMHCI Is Registered As A Nonprofit Organization With The Secretary Of State’s Office And As A 501(c)(4) With The Internal Revenue Service.  “The organization is currently registered with the Secretary of State’s Office as a nonprofit corporation, and is filing with the Internal Revenue Service for tax-exempt 501(c)(4) status, which would allow it to engage in some political activity.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

NMHCI Was Registered As A Nonprofit And Spent $47,500 In The 2016 Election Cycle. “A review of New Mexico campaign spending reports done by Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver’s office has turned up questionable expenditures by several candidates and political committees. In one case, the Secretary of State’s Office said it had referred to the Attorney General’s Office a case involving a group registered as a nonprofit that spent $47,500 in the 2016 election cycle.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/08/17]

  • NMHCI Gave Money Primarily To Republican State Political Committees. “That group, the New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative, gave money primarily to Republican state political committees and was formed by Dan Perry, a Santa Fe attorney who pushed for a 2015 law that bars the public from walking or wading in streams that run through private property without written permission.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/08/17]

NMHCI Was Cited By The Secretary Of State For Registering As A Corporation Instead Of A Political Committee. “In the outstanding case, the secretary of state’s office says the New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative should have registered as a political committee rather than a corporation. The report lists more than $52,000 in political contributions by the organization. The organization said Wednesday it never received a letter from the secretary of state’s office and will provide additional information to resolve the matter.” [Associated Press, 06/07/17]

Dan Perry, Owner Of Chama Trout Stalkers Ranch And Founder Of The New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative, Is A Big Political Donor

Dan Perry, Who Formed NMHCI, Also Owns The Trout Stalker Ranch And Gave Nearly $50,000 To Republican State Political Committees. “There’s a new player on New Mexico’s political scene: an organization started by a ranch-owning oil-and-gas lawyer that gave nearly $50,000 last month to various Republican state political committees. The New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative was formed recently by Dan C. Perry, a lawyer who relocated from Texas to Santa Fe and owns Trout Stalker Ranch, a fly-fishing and hunting operation just south of Chama along the Rio Chama and Rio Chamita.” [Albuquerque Journal, 06/16/16]

Dan Perry Contributed $10,000 Through His Troutstalker Ranch And $11,000 Through His Chama Trout Stalkers LLC To Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham.  “There are other examples in gubernatorial campaign records of people making contributions individually as well as through companies they own or in tandem with family members. U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham reported $10,000 from Dan Perry, as well as $10,000 from his Troutstalker Ranch, plus $11,000 from his Chama Trout Stalkers LLC, for a total of $31,000.” [New Mexico Political Report, 04/09/18]

Perry’s Legal Work Specializes In Representing Oil, Gas and Mineral Owners In Both Texas And New Mexico

Perry Has Practiced Law In Texas And New Mexico And Specializes In Exclusive Representation Of Oil, Gas And Mineral Owners In Dealings With Oil/Gas Exploration And Pipeline Companies. “Dan C. Perry has practiced law for 30 years in Texas and New Mexico, specializing in the exclusive representation of oil, gas and mineral owners in their dealings with oil and gas exploration and pipeline companies.” [Chama Peak Land Alliance, accessed 09/17/19]

  • Perry Manages Oil, Gas and Mineral Leasing Across Three States. “Dan markets available oil, gas and mineral acreage for lease, negotiates and closes the leases, monitors and enforces lease compliance and audits royalty payments on over 300,000 acres of minerals in three states.” [Chama Peak Land Alliance, accessed 09/17/19]
  • Perry Is Also A Board Member Of The Santa Fe Opera And Silver Bullet Productions. Dan is also a Board Member of The Santa Fe Opera and Silver Bullet Productions.” [Chama Peak Land Alliance, accessed 09/17/19]

Perry Outlined His Work At His Firm, Agave Mineral Management, Inc.. “Dan C. Perry has practiced oil and gas law in Texas and New Mexico for 35 years, focusing exclusively on representing mineral owners with their oil and gas leases. During that period, he has negotiated and drafted in excess of 500 oil and gas leases covering more than 1,000,000 acres, and has tracked the drilling and production of hundreds of oil and gas wells.” [Agave Mineral Management, Inc., accessed 09/18/19]

  • Perry Claims Experience In The Field Of Mineral Management. ‘Perry uses his experience in the field of Mineral Management, whereby he provides full service representation for the marketing of unleased minerals, negotiating and drafting of oil and gas leases and industry contracts, auditing royalty payments and overseeing the oil companies’ performance of their lease covenants.” [Agave Mineral Management, Inc., accessed 09/18/19]
  • Perry Currently Serves as Mineral Manager For Five Different Family Entities. “He currently serves as Mineral Manager (either as a Trustee, General Partner or LLC Manager) for five different family entities, with over 200,000 acres of minerals under his direct control.” [Agave Mineral Management, Inc., accessed 09/18/19]

Perry And His Wife Ashlyn Moved To Santa Fe, New Mexico In 2011.“There are opera lovers and then there is Dan Perry. He’s attended performances at the Santa Fe Opera for 30 years — sometimes to the tune of 30 or 40 in a single season. In 2012, he saw all 12 performances of Tosca. ‘I’m all in for Puccini,’ he said. He was a member of the SFO board of directors from 2012 to 2017, during which time he and his wife, Ashlyn, served on several gala committees and hosted numerous after-parties for the principal artists, ‘until the wee hours of the morning.’ The Perrys, who met in a writing workshop in San Antonio taught by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, moved full-time to Santa Fe in 2011 after visiting for many years.” [Santa Fe New Mexican, 09/14/18]

Lobbyist Marco Gonzales Has Also Donated A Lot Of Money On Behalf Of NMHCI

Lobbyist Marco Gonzales Spent $96,974, With Major Expenses On Behalf Of NMHCI. “Marco Gonzales, who represents several clients, spent $96,974. His major expenses were on behalf of the New Mexico Habitat Conservation Initiative. It was started by Dan Perry, a former Texas resident who now is an oil and gas lawyer in Santa Fe. He owns the Trout Stalker Ranch in Chama.” [New Mexico Political Report, 01/19/17]

  • Both NMHCI And Troutstalkers Spent A combined $70,700 That Went To Republican And Democratic Candidates And Committees. “Perry last year supported a bill approved by the Legislature that prohibits the public from accessing waterways that bisect private land. That measure voided an order by former state Attorney General Gary King that made all New Mexico streams open to the public. Through Gonzales, the Conservation Initiative and Perry’s Troutstalkers LLC spent a combined $70,700 that went to both Republican and Democrat candidates and committees.” [New Mexico Political Report, 01/19/17]