The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a proposed land exchange that could increase public access and big game winter range in Grand and Summit counties. The BLM will prepare an environmental impact statement to evaluate the proposal, and is initiating the scoping process.
Under the proposal, called the Blue Valley Land Exchange, the BLM would trade nine parcels totaling 1,489 acres in Grand County for nine parcels totaling 1,832 acres of non-federal, mostly private lands in Grand and Summit counties.
“We will only complete this exchange if we determine it is in the public’s interest. Land exchanges involve trade-offs, so we want to hear what the public thinks about this proposal,” said BLM Kremmling Field Manager Stephanie Odell, “We are considering this exchange because of the potential to increase public access and important big-game winter range on public lands.”
The BLM will host two public open house meetings to answer questions, provide more information, and take written comments. The first will be May 23 in Silverthorne at the Summit County Library North Branch, 651 Center Circle; the second May 24 in Kremmling at the Grand County Extension on the Fairgrounds. Both meetings will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The public can stop by anytime during the open houses.
Comments need to be received by June 8, 2016 and may be submitted to email@example.com, faxed to 970-724- 3066, or mailed to 2103 E. Park Avenue, P.O. Box 68, Kremmling, CO 80459.
More information about the proposed land exchange, including maps, is available online at www.blm.gov/co/kfo.
More than half of the BLM acreage that would be exchanged is surrounded by private land and has no public access. The majority of other BLM lands considered for exchange are small, isolated parcels that received little public use.
The exchange would result in the BLM and public gaining access to nearly a mile of Blue River frontage near the confluence with the Colorado River, plus an additional 1.66 miles of river frontage that is currently inaccessible except by floating. In return, the BLM would relinquish title to 400 acres of land that provides 0.3 miles of walk-in Blue River fishing access near the Trough Road.
The proponent of the land exchange, Blue Valley Ranch, would also fund several improvements on public land including facilities for float-boaters on the Blue River near the confluence with the Colorado River, including a new take-out for raft and kayaks, wheelchair accessible fishing platforms, trails and parking areas.
The land exchange would be completed based on an appraised value-for-value basis, rather than acre-for-acre.
As the BLM begins an environmental impact statement to analyze the proposed exchange, it wants to hear what issues and concerns the public would like to see addressed.
Blue Valley Ranch’s proposal is modified from an earlier proposal the BLM released for public comment in 2005. The BLM did not pursue the proposal further until completing its Resource Management Plan Revision for the Kremmling Field Office during the summer of 2015.
Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment— including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.