The New Mexico Association of Counties has a number of strong partnerships at the local, state and federal level. These partnerships are often in the form of formal agreements such as the memorandums of understanding and cooperative agreements we have with the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service. In addition, NMAC is a member of the National Association of Counties. Through our collaboration with NACo, county members are able to sit at the table to develop national policy on county government issues.
Throughout the organization, our partnerships are designed to provide resources and solutions to our membership. These include training opportunities through NM EDGE/County College and Leadership New Mexico. We also work with our partners to identify funding for county initiatives. NMAC regularly receives notification on grant and funding opportunities and they will be posted here as they become available.
National Association of Counties – NMAC belongs to and works closely with the National Association of Counties (NACo), known as the Voice of America’s Counties. NACo is responsible for representing counties in Congress and with the federal executive agencies. It receives input from all state member organizations and provides guidance and status of important matters of interest to the counties. The Association develops national legislative policies and communicates with members of Congress and related agencies. As members of the National Association of Counties (NACo), our county members have access to webinars and conferences specific to county governments. NACo hosts two conferences per year: legislative conference in March and annual conference in July. For more information, visit NACo’s website at www.naco.org.
Bureau of Land Management – The New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on October 7, 2004. The MOU establishes a framework for the agencies to work collaboratively on issues that mutually benefit each organization’s mission and objectives. The MOU encourages opportunities for cooperation in land and resource management practices, training, educational programs, access management and inter-agency staff assignments and exchanges. A BLM liaison was assigned to work with NMAC and county governments to coordinate meetings between county representatives and BLM field office staff, to provide technical assistance to counties, to engage counties in Cooperating Agency Status, to share Geospatial Information Systems data, and work together on other ongoing BLM initiatives. For additional information, please visit: http://www.blm.gov.
United State Forest Service – The New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on June 20, 2008. The MOU establishes a framework for the entities to work collaboratively on issues that mutually benefit each organization’s mission and objectives. The MOU encourages opportunities for cooperation, including training, educational programs, cooperation in land and resource management practices, access management and interagency staff assignments and exchanges. A USFS liaison was assigned to work with NMAC and county governments in order to educate counties on the benefits of Cooperative Agency Status, coordinate meetings with county representatives and USFS field office staff, to strengthen and develop new collaborative partnerships with NMAC and counties, and to provide technical assistance to counties. http://www.fs.fed.us/.
New Mexico State University – NM EDGE & County College – County College began as a dream of the late Sam Montoya, the executive director of the New Mexico Association of Counties in 2002, who asked New Mexico State University’s Cooperative Extension Service to develop an educational program for New Mexico’s county officials and employees. Courses based on the Certified Public Officials model used in other states began being delivered in late 2004. The NM EDGE is an evolution of County College. http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/countycollege/index.html. In 2008, the NMSU Department of Government became a regular partner in County College and introduced the nationally accredited Certified Public Manager Program. Curriculum committees to fully develop core programs and affiliate-specific educational programs were established. Awarding of NMSU Continuing Education Units for County College courses was also started in 2008. “Better government through education” is the purpose of County College. Today, County College works through the guidelines of the National Certified Public Manager Consortium to develop certification programs and works with the affiliates of the New Mexico Association of Counties to develop affiliate-specific curricula.
Gathering of Counties Day at the New Mexico State Fair – The Annual “Gathering of Counties Day” is an annual celebration for local government officials and staff. New Mexico State Fair officials set aside a special day during the state fair to honor New Mexico’s county leadership and community contributions. The Gathering of Counties also provides the perfect opportunity for county leadership to recognize the contributions of their local farmers, ranchers, artisans, entertainers and youth. All across the fair’s 236 acres there are places that celebrate community members – not to mention all of the food, rides and fun that can be found along the midway! Bring your family along and make this a special day for celebrating New Mexico. Announcements are distributed to elected officials and managers each July. http://www.exponm.com.
New Mexico Energy, Minerals & Natural Resources Department – State Forestry Division – NMAC signed a Cooperative Agreement with the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department – State Forestry Division in 2006 to develop collaborative initiatives that would assist New Mexico’s counties. NMAC works with State Forestry personnel to assess county land management needs and priorities, identify funding opportunities, leverage resources and develop additional collaborative partners. State Forestry, NMAC and BLM work jointly to leverage initiatives for wildfire prevention, wild land urban interface (WUI) building codes, and forest industry economic development. New Mexico State Forestry is responsible for wildfire suppression on all non-federal, non-municipal, non-tribal and non-pueblo lands throughout New Mexico. State Forestry also provides technical advice on forest and resource management. New Mexico State Forestry participates in several resource management advisory boards or councils. http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/FD/index.htm.
New Mexico Department of Transportation – NMAC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the New Mexico Department of Transportation on June 3, 2009 during the NMAC Annual Conference. The MOU allows the two entities to work together in areas of mutual interest to: 1) Assist each respective party in providing better transportation and transit services to the traveling public; 2) Enable the parties to coordinate the use of each party’s respective resources to more efficiently maintain and operate the state’s transportation infrastructure in support of the State’s growing economy; 3) Jointly participate in planning and presenting transportation and infrastructure-related conferences and training seminars; and 4) Participate in each respective party’s meetings, as appropriate, to impart information of mutual benefit and interest. For more information please see http://dot.state.nm.us/.