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California Desert District
Release Date: 07/08/13
Contacts: Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email    
News Release No. July 8, 2013

BLM Initiates Environmental Assessment and Plan Amendment to Evaluate Disposal of Land in Needles

The Bureau of Land Management today announced plans to evaluate the possible sale of interest held by the United States in 50 acres of land conveyed to the City of Needles in 1966.

The Notice of Intent published today initiates the public scoping process to identify specific issues to be addressed in a proposed 1980 California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment and associated Environmental Assessment.  The BLM anticipates that the EA will consider both the plan amendment and the possible subsequent sale, or sales, of the federal reversionary interest and has identified local land uses as the primary preliminary issue of concern.  The EA will likely include land use planning, mineral resources, biology, and cultural resources input.

Comments on issues may be submitted in writing to Raymond Lee, BLM Needles Field Manager, 1303 S. Highway 95, Needles, CA 92363 until August 7, 2013, in order to be included in the EA.

The City of Needles originally purchased 50 acres of land in San Bernardino County from the BLM in 1966.  The public land was sold under the authority of the Recreation and Public Purpose Act for park and recreational purposes for $2.50 an acre, with the provision that title would revert to the U.S. if the land was used for purposes not allowed under the terms of the R&PP Act or was transferred to another party without the BLM’s approval.

The BLM has subsequently approved the transfer of title of a portion of the land to the County of San Bernardino and approved several changes in use.  BLM anticipates it will need to dispose of the reversionary interest in portions of the land to allow other uses of the land, which are not allowed under the terms of the conveyance in 1966.

The BLM uses its land use planning process to identify public lands, or interest in lands, which may be made available for sale.  The federal reversionary interests in the 50 acres of land sold to the City of Needles in 1996 were not specifically identified for disposal in the 1980 CDCA Plan, so BLM must complete a plan amendment to dispose of the reversionary interests.

For further information, please contact George Meckfessel, Planning and Environmental Coordinator, BLM Needles Field Office, (760) 326-7008.


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Last updated: 07-15-2013