History of Colorado Wild Public Lands
In 2009, Western Land Group (WLG), a private land exchange brokerage based in Denver, Colorado came to central Colorado with two different proposals for land exchanges between the United States Bureau of Land Management and private individuals.
Both the Bear Ranch Exchange in Gunnison County and the Sutey Ranch (Two Shoes) Land Exchange in Pitkin County were to occur through federal legislation.
WLG needed local support before the state delegation would propose the legislation.
As the two counties share a large border, information regarding the land exchange process began to flow among the various communities.
We realized that there were dozens of affluent individuals purchasing large rural properties surrounding the beautiful mountain ranges connecting our communities.
These two coincidental land exchanges were only the beginning of the public land use patterns that the newcomers had the potential to influence and reduce.
The two Colorado land exchanges also had the attention of Western Lands Project (WLP) in Seattle, an organization which watchdogs land exchanges all around the country.
WLP helped gather the local critique of the exchanges, guiding efforts to demand public debate and evaluation of the exchanges.
As a result, these efforts quieted the Gunnison County proposal, and encouraged improvements and more public process for the Pitkin County proposal.
This advocacy takes a great amount of time, effort, education, and money; as a result, we formed Colorado Wild Public Lands to help organize local resources to evaluate, monitor, provide comments on, and influence, potential changes to public lands and assets.