Berlaimont Estates Proposed Access Route

Berlaimont Estates proposed a new paved road to access their inholding surrounded by National Forest land. They want to develop a luxury subdivision high above the town of Edwards. The road would cross several miles of public land and impact critical wildlife habitat. Following their 2018 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), the Forest Service issued a draft decision approving Alternative 2 in September 2020. See COWPL's letter to the editor.

COWPL submitted detailed comments on the 2018 DEIS for the proposed Berlaimont Estates Access Route, see here.

Buffalo Horn LEX Appraisal Comments Submitted

We received and analyzed the appraisals for the private and public lands in the proposed land exchange. COWPL’s analysis determined that the appraisals for the private and the federal lands have been treated differently and inconsistently, particularly the question of access. In addition, parcels C1 and F5 are undervalued. These are a few highlights from our report.

  • The appraisal instructions incorrectly create an aggregated “larger parcel”. COWPL’s analysis shows that the criteria for creating a “larger parcel” are not met in this case. The sizes and values of parcels C1 and F5 are considerably greater than the other parcels and merit separate appraisals.
  • Provide the rationale for calculating the value or amount of land that is owed by the Colorado BLM to the State of Colorado today.
  • The appraisals over-emphasize the value of motorized access to properties in the exchange, inappropriately discounting the value of the federal lands and over-valuing the non-federal parcels. Several of the 16 selected comparable sales share similar access to C1 and F5 and support buyers’ willingness to acquire these properties at market prices.

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Proposed Land Transfer from the BLM to the Colorado State Land Board

COWPL has submitted comments for the scoping phase of the proposed transfer by the BLM of approximately 17,700 acres of federal surface/federal mineral estate, and an additional 6,000 acres of federal mineral estate only, in 16 counties, to the Colorado State Land Board. The Federal government want to settle a historic debt for 9,900 acres. Comments submitted will inform the next phase of the BLM’s NEPA process. The BLM identified preliminary issues through internal scoping. Our comments addressed those issues as well as:

  • Increase public outreach and provide further information.
  • Provide the rationale for calculating the value or amount of land that is owed by the Colorado BLM to the State of Colorado today.
  • In a statewide project, parcel specific information can be overlooked. Provide in-depth analysis of the natural and cultural attributes, and existing and proposed uses, of each of the parcels under consideration.

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Valle Seco COWPL Comments Submitted

COWPL has submitted comments on the proposed Valle Seco Land Exchange. Comments will inform the next phase of the Forest’s NEPA analysis of the proposal. COWPL identified a range of topics including the following:

  • Public access, recreation and natural and cultural values need further analysis.
  • Mitigation and management techniques should be described.
  • Current land appraisals of the properties should be made available to the public and future appraisals should utilize multiple techniques to fully consider the value of the lands.
  • Include detailed analysis of alternatives to "The Proposed Action" and "No Action".

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Blue Valley Proposed Land Exchange EIS & Comments Submitted

The proposed Blue Valley land exchange would privatize 15 linear miles of river frontage on the Blue River, a Gold Medal trout stream, just north of Silverthorne. In June, we submitted comments on the BLM's draft Environmental Impact Statement expressing our concern about loss of public access, riverfront parcels, public land with high natural resource values, and questions of land valuations. Read the comments COWPL submitted at 2018 BVR DEIS COWPL Comments 062218.

See more about the proposed land exchange and the draft EIS on the BLM's website.

Buffalo Horn Land Exchange EA & Comments Submitted

The issue in this proposed Buffalo Horn land exchange near Meeker is whether the BLM will gain hunting grounds that are equal in quality to those they propose to trade away; and concern over the proposed reduction of the grazing rights of several family ranches. In May, we analyzed the alternatives, submitted comments and recommended that the proposed exchange would not be in the public interest. Read our comments at Buffalo Horn LEX EA Comments from COWPL_060618. w EXHIBITS.
See more details on the proposed land exchange on the BLM's website.

COWPL Files Suit Against BLM

On Monday, June 26, 2017, the Colorado Wild Public Lands (COWPL) filed a complaint in Federal District Court against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for its approval of the Sutey-Two Shoes Land Exchange near Carbondale.

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