We closely watch each step of the Federal Land Exchange NEPA process to ensure that the Public Agency is adhering to the laws and regulations governing its evaluation process and that the Public Interest is represented.
What is a Federal Land Exchange?
Land exchanges are swaps of tracts of land between federal agencies, or between federal agencies and a private landowner or landowners. When a public land agency proposes a land exchange or sale, it is governed by statutes or regulations intended to protect the public interest. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) provides strict guidelines for environmental analysis and disclosures as well as opportunities for citizen input. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) dictates that land exchanges must serve the public interest and yield equal value to both (or multiple) sides in the transaction.
We perform these tasks:
- Track Land Exchanges.
- Advocate for transparency in the land exchange process.
- Make the Land Exchange Process more user-friendly and understandable.
- Get word out to increase awareness of land exchanges in process.
- Promote the Public Process by encouraging and assisting in Public access to information, input, review and comment
- Organize community for meaningful public input.
We address public concerns around the Land Exchange Process including:
- Potential disparities in the appraised real estate values that the Public Agencies are using to evaluate the monetary aspects of the exchange.
- Insufficient consideration of cumulative effects of potential results of a Land Exchange.
- Loss of Public Access to Public Lands, especially through the elimination of small corridors of Public Lands.
- Equal consideration of impacts, gains and losses to all public user groups.
- Consideration of future maintenance and conservation objectives of both Public and Private Lands involved.
RECENT LAND EXCHANGE HIGHLIGHTS
We continue our opposition to the Sutey Ranch Land Exchange in Carbondale. We have just received and are analyzing the BLM’s response to the complaint we filed in federal court in June. This is the work to which all our previous efforts have been leading.
We are following the Blue Valley Land Exchange in Summit County. The proposal would privatize almost 15 miles of Blue River-front in exchange for a river park near Kremmling and a hiking access to the canyon above 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 filed scoping comments in June of 2016 and are awaiting the release of the draft Environmental Assessment
We have also been following The Buffalo Horn Land Exchange in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties where about 4,000 acres of land is proposed for exchange. We submitted scoping comments to the Bureau of Land Management White River Field Office early this year.