By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has found that a rule allowing private landowners to limit public access to streams and rivers is unconstitutional. The court announced its decision Tuesday after hearing oral arguments in a case that centered on whether the public has a right to fish or float on streams and other waterways that flow through private property. While the debate over stream access has been ongoing across the West for years, the New Mexico court provided more clarity with its ruling on a petition filed by a coalition of anglers, rafters and conservationists. Attorneys for landowners argued that private property rights needed to be protected.