Your Land Exchange Watchdog

Protecting the integrity, size and quality of our Colorado public lands,
especially in the land exchange process

What Are Public Lands?

Lands owned and managed by public entities including the US Forest Service and Burea of Land Management.

What Is A Land Exchange?

Land exchanges are swaps of tracts of land between government agencies, or between government agencies and private entities. Since 2000 there have been over 150 land exchanges in Colorado alone.

The Problem

Agencies are supposed to make sure that the values of the lands are equal or better for the public.

That doesn't always happen
That's when we step in

Keep It Open, Keep It Ours

Colorado Wild Public Lands is a niche organization with a broad perspective. Founded in 2014, COWPL includes 6 board members, 1 part-time contract staff, and over 150 member-volunteers.

The Proposals

Private entities' proposals push private agendas and outside of the federal planning process. Strategic proponents take years to prepare their submissions, while the public has just 30-45 days to respond.

What's At Stake

Proposals can pit user groups against each other. Wildlands lose to developed recreation. Corridors connecting larger landscapes become fragmented and public access is frequently lost.

Land Exchange Experts

We know the process, the paperwork, the tricks, and how to mobilize people. We are differentiated by our technical expertise with over 100 years of experience with public lands management.


Land exchanges have been withdrawn or revised to provide more benefits to the public. We have obtained withheld information for proposals and represent the public interest in proposed NEPA and FOIA rule changes.

What We Do

CWPL Files Protest Against Blue Valley Ranch Decision

On March 2, CWPL filed a protest against the BLM's January approval of the Blue Valley Ranch land exchange. Many problems with the exchange remain unresolved and the BLM has again failed to adequately represent the public's interest.

Important Blue Valley Ranch Documents Remain Unposted on BLM Website

CWPL has fought for over a year to achieve release of documents important to the public's understanding of the Blue Valley Ranch exchange. After 18+ months of FOIA requests and appeals, BLM finally released the Draft Binding Land Exchange Agreement to us but has still failed to place it on the project website. Check it out here.

Featured In