BLM plans non-competitive land sale in Mississippi

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The Bureau of Land Management plans to sell certain public lands in Simpson County, Miss., to resolve a decades-long inadvertent unauthorized use. The approved amendment to the Mississippi Resource Management Plan and associated environmental assessment released today pave the way for BLM to offer a 12.3-acre parcel for a direct, non-competitive sale to Mr. Dempsey Sullivan at fair market value.

The parcel was inadvertently omitted during the original federal surveys performed in the early 1800s. As a result of updated land survey information from redistricting efforts, Simpson County and BLM determined that the land belonged to the United States Government.

Mr. Sullivan acquired the adjacent property to the north and east of the BLM land in 1972 and believed that the public land was part of his acquired property. Under this premise, Mr. Sullivan has included the land in his farming and cattle operation and made improvements to the parcel.

Today’s decision to sell this parcel is the culmination of a thorough evaluation and public involvement process regarding the potential impacts of making this public land available for sale. The analysis and decision were informed by public input gathered during a 45-day comment period.

BLM may transfer lands from federal ownership that are small and logistically and economically difficult to manage. In this case, the isolated tract of public land is surrounded by privately-owned farms in a rural area of Mississippi, and there are no other federal lands in Simpson County. Selling the parcel would not impact public access for recreation in the area.

With this decision, BLM will initiate the realty actions necessary to complete the sale. The parcel will be offered to Mr. Sullivan at fair market value with certain terms and conditions.

Additional information about the parcel, amendment to the resource management plan, environmental assessment, and decision record, is available on the BLM National NEPA Register.

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