Feedback sought on proposed land exchange | VailDaily.com

Feedback sought on proposed land exchange

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

SILT, Colorado – The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on the proposed Sutey Ranch land exchange in Eagle, Garfield and Pitkin counties.

Maps and details about the potential land exchange, which is being facilitated by Western Land Group, are available at http://www.blm.gov/co/crvfo. The BLM will host a public open house meeting May 31 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Carbondale Town Hall, 511 Colorado Ave., to provide information and answer questions about the proposal.

Under the proposal, the BLM would acquire the 557-acre Sutey Ranch adjacent to the popular Red Hill Special Recreation Area in Garfield County, including the historic water rights from the ranch. BLM would also receive 117 acres in Pitkin County along Prince Creek Road adjacent to The Crown area. This private parcel is a highly popular area with mountain bikers and is used to access BLM roads and trails.

The BLM would exchange three parcels totaling 1,268 acres in Pitkin County south of Carbondale that are mostly surrounded by private land and are difficult for the public to access. These parcels would be transferred to the Two Shoes Ranch. In Eagle County, BLM would exchange three parcels totaling 195 acres on Horse Mountain southwest of Eagle which has little public access. This parcel would be transferred to the Lady Belle Ranch.

Conservation easements that would prevent development from occurring on the lands that would become private would be placed simultaneously at closing by Two Shoes Ranch and Lady Belle Ranch. The BLM would also receive a $1.1 million donation from the land exchange proponents – $100,000 to cover the BLM’s cost to develop a site-specific management plan for the newly acquired parcels, and $1 million for their long-term management.

After the public comment period closes, the BLM will begin an environmental assessment of the proposal. A final decision is expected in 2013.

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The BLM will accept comments through June 20. Comments can be e-mailed to BLM_CO_SI_CRVFO_Webmail@blm.gov or mailed to BLM, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652, Attn: Sutey Ranch Land Exchange.