BLM approves Blue Valley Land Exchange
Project increases public lands and access in Grand and Summit counties
KREMMLING, Colo. – Today the Bureau of Land Management issued a Notice of Decision approving the Blue Valley Land Exchange, which will increase public access for fishing, hunting, and other recreation in Grand and Summit counties, Colorado. The decision authorizes the BLM to exchange nine parcels of Federal land totaling 1,489 acres in Grand County for nine parcels acres of non-Federal private land totaling 1,830 acres in Grand and Summit counties.
“This exchange improves and increases public access for people of all abilities who wish to boat, hike, or drive to the Blue River and increases public hunting access along Trough Road,” said BLM Colorado State Director Doug Vilsack. “We’ve coordinated closely with local governments, other agencies, and the public, and negotiated with the proponent to ensure that the land exchange benefits the public interest.”
The exchange expands access along about a mile of the Blue River near its confluence with the Colorado River, plus an additional 1.66 miles of hike-in access to the Blue River that is currently inaccessible except by floating. The exchange consolidates public land and transfers small, isolated public land parcels that have little to no public access, and results in a net gain of 341 public land acres.
Blue Valley Ranch has committed to fund a number of improvements on public and private lands, including fishery habitat improvements and recreation facilities on the Blue River near the confluence with the Colorado River. Facilities consist of new boat ramps for rafts and kayaks, wheelchair-accessible fishing platforms, trails, restrooms, and parking areas.
Until the BLM and Galloway Inc., Owner of Blue Valley Ranch, formally close on the exchange, land ownership and public access does not change. More information about the proposed land exchange, including maps, is available online at https://eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/project/81162/510.
The Notice of Decision initiates a 45-day protest period. Protests must be submitted by March 2, 2023 to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to BLM KFO, Land Exchange Protest, P.O. Box 68, Kremmling, CO 80459.
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The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.