Law Enforcement Policy and Procedures


The goal of the Law Enforcement Program is to strive for voluntary compliance with the state rules, regulations and laws the Forestry Division (Division) is responsible for enforcing through prevention, education and enforcement.  Division Special Agents will work with and assist District Foresters and Timber and Fire Management Officers when they have been unsuccessful in obtaining compliance with Division rules, regulations, or laws through the administrative process. 

Law Enforcement Program 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 Division's law enforcement authority.  Pursuant to this limited authority the Division may enforce the following statutes:

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

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:

  • 19.20.3 New Mexico Administrative Code Fire Restrictions
  • 19.20.4 New Mexico Administrative Code Commercial Timber Harvesting Requirements
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