Pueblo of San Ildefonso, New Mexico


It will cost state and federal government $2 million to ensure that residents of White Rock keep their asphalt connection to the outside world for the next 30 years. The pueblo will receive $500,000 from Los Alamos County and $1.5 million from the Department of Energy and its Los Alamos National Laboratory - for a 30-year-lease on a stretch of N.M. 4 that crosses pueblo land. White Rock residents use the road to travel to Espanola and Santa Fe. They would have faced a 20-mile detour if the pueblo had closed the road. The road also is used by visitors to reach Bandelier National Monument. The first $350,000 payment is due the 626-member tribe within 30 days, and the rest will be made over a four-year period. The easement will be assigned to the state Highway and Transportation Department, which will maintain the 2.5-mile section of the two-lane road. San Ildefonso retains jurisdiction during the lease term and must approve any changes to the highway. The original 50-year easement was negotiated in the 1940s by the Atomic Energy Commission before the Los Alamos suburb of White Rock was built, providing no compensation to the pueblo.