|January 26, 2007|
Lesley A. Collins
Land Exchange Proposed Between BLM and Eagle Creek Ranch:
Public will gain access to 30 acres along North Platte River
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Casper Field Office is considering a proposal to exchange 2,072.95 acres of BLM land for 30.10 acres of private land owned by Eagle Creek Ranch.
The BLM lands are located within the Eagle Creek Ranch located off Wyoming Highway 220, northwest of Alcova. In exchange for these lands, BLM would acquire four parcels of land with North Platte River frontage between Alcova Dam and just below Government Bridge. BLM would acquire sand and gravel mineral rights on two of the riverfront parcels. The United States already owns the mineral rights underlying the other two riverfront parcels. All mineral rights on the federal lands will be retained by the United States.
According to Casper Field Office Manager Jim Murkin, "We realize there is a very large disparity in acreages under consideration. By law, land exchanges must be completed on an equal value basis, so the market value of riverfront lands sharply affects the acreages involved."
Acquisition of the riverfront parcels would provide additional recreational access for the public, as well as afford opportunities to protect and preserve the natural resource values that are unique to the North Platte River corridor. Riparian areas, wetlands, and the associated fisheries and wildlife habitats are of key interest to BLM management along the river. Recreation use on the river continues to increase as does the competition for those natural resources and the limited space available for outdoor use.
BLM can use land exchanges to consolidate public landholding resulting in better access to public lands and more efficient management.
Submit written comments or concerns to the BLM Casper Field Office, Attn: Randy Sorenson, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, Wyoming 82604. Comments or questions may also be sent by facsimile to the attention of Sorenson at 307-261-7587; or sent electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Comments are due by March 12, 2007. For more information contact Sorenson at 307/261-7522.