Valle Seco

Comments due Dec. 13, 2019

The Valle Seco proposed land exchange is located in the Pagosa Ranger District, San Juan National Forest (SNJF). The SJNF is soliciting input to inform their environmental analysis of this proposed exchange that will document potential impacts to the physical, human, and biological environment. COWPL is reviewing the proposal and will submit scoping comments by the due date of Dec. 13, 2019.

The proposal by a group of private proponents is to exchange two private parcels totaling 900 acres for 11 federally owned parcels totaling 472 acres. The federal parcels include land within designated roadless areas and suitable wild and scenic corridors. More info here.

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Sutey Ranch

The BLM completed the Sutey Ranch land exchange in 2017. Following that, COWPL submitted a lawsuit, prepared by COWPL's attorney. We are awaiting the Federal District Court Judge’s decision about whether the BLM followed the rules and acted in the public interest when it approved the Sutey Ranch land exchange. More info here.

Blue Valley

The Blue Valley Ranch proposal in Summit County would privatize almost 15 miles of Blue River-front in exchange for a river park near Kremmling and a hiking access near Green Mountain Reservoir. Only a single public access would remain along this 15-mile stretch of the Blue River, a gold medal trout stream. We submitted comments on the draft Environmental Impact Statement in June 2018.

Later, we used the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain the information we'd requested. In 2019, we received the information, including appraisals of valuations of land proposed for exchange, and a refund for our attorney fees! More info here.

Buffalo Horn

The Buffalo Horn project in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties proposes about 4,000 acres of land for exchange. The heart of this proposal is whether the BLM is gaining hunting grounds that are equal in quality to those they are trading away. This exchange would also reduce the grazing rights of several local family ranches. COWPL submitted comments on the White River field office's draft Environmental Assessment in 2018.

We analyzed the proposed alternatives for their protection or enhancement of recreational access (especially hunting and fishing), habitat and natural resources. We are awaiting the BLM's release of the land appraisals and their Notice Of Decision. More info here.