Recognizing the socioeconomic value of managing iconic recreation and conservation lands for public use and enjoyment, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Utah signed the Decision Record approving a recreational land exchange with the State of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration on Feb. 7, 2014. Under the Utah Recreational Land Exchange Act of 2009, the BLM and State of Utah will consolidate land ownership through an equal value exchange of lands in Uintah, Grand and San Juan Counties.
In recent years, nearly six million annual visitors recreating on Utah’s public lands have boosted local economies and contributed to community job growth through recreation tourism. Public lands managed by the BLM in Utah contribute significantly to the state’s economy and, in turn, often have a positive impact on nearby communities. In fact, recreation on BLM-managed lands in Utah provided $490 million in local and national economic benefits in 2012. This exchange will further support Utah’s local economies by helping the BLM preserve recreation hotspots like the southern viewsheds along the Colorado River and near Arches National Park.
“Public lands in Utah provide places to hunt and hike or travel and camp. They offer retreats from the hustle of daily life or heart-pounding adventures,” said Juan Palma, BLM-Utah State Director. “Whether you’re looking for something therapeutic and inspirational or adrenaline-filled and exciting, this exchange will expand opportunities for outdoor recreation on Utah’s BLM-managed lands.”
The BLM will acquire 58 parcels with high conservation and recreation value, totaling 25,034 acres, primarily in Grand County. These parcels will expand the BLM backcountry with world class recreation sites like Corona Arch and Morning Glory Arch. This exchange will improve the quantity and quality of recreational experiences for visitors to public lands and waters managed by the BLM. The State will acquire 34 parcels with high mineral development potential, totaling 35,516 acres, primarily in Uintah County. The state expects development of these high potential parcels to boost public school funding across Utah.
The appraisal documents and revised maps showing the parcels to be exchanged will be available for public inspection for 30-days from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday at the BLM-Utah State Office, 440 West 200 South, Suite 500, Salt Lake City. The exchange maps and additional documents supporting the exchange, including the environmental assessment and Decision Record, are available, on this page, under the heading "Land Exchange Documents."
For a period of 45 days from Feb. 7, 2014, interested parties may submit written protests to the BLM-Utah State Director. For additional information on this exchange or other current land exchange efforts in the State of Utah, please contact Joy Wehking at (801)539-4114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.