Faced with the strong likelihood that, after several heated battles over the issue, the state legislature was on the verge of heeding the Governor’s call for New Mexico to pass very stringent  legislation to protect surface owners from damage caused by oil and gas development on their lands and with the steadily growing coalition in support of such legislation, Gary Kilpatric and Nancy King, representing the members of the New Mexico Oil and Gas Association,  negotiated with legislative sponsors and representatives of surface owners, environmentalists, the environment department and the governor’s office to create and pass the Surface Owners Protection Act which identified the rights and responsibilities of surface owners and oil and gas operators relating to surface disturbed by mineral development.  Mr. Kilpatric and Ms. King were also key participants in the successful lobbying effort to pass this legislation as negotiated.