BLM releases preliminary environmental assessment on state indemnity transfer of lands and mineral rights

Proposal involves parcels intermingled with state-owned lands; would satisfy claim dating from 1876 statehood

DENVER, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management has released a preliminary environmental assessment that analyzes if there are any significant environmental impacts of a proposed action to transfer approximately 17,200 acres of federal surface and minerals and an additional 6,000 acres of federal mineral estate to the state of Colorado.  

The BLM and the Colorado State Board of Land Commissioners are seeking to satisfy the debt owed to the state for lands it did not receive under its Statehood Act of 1875, due to other rights or reservations that encumbered the lands. The federal government owes the state the equivalent value in approximately 9,000 acres.  

The BLM worked closely with the state of Colorado to identify the acreage proposed for transfer to match the estimated value of what the owed 9,000 acres are currently worth. The acres identified for potential transfer are near or intermingled with state-owned lands in Bent, Chaffee, Custer, Dolores, Eagle, El Paso, Garfield, Grand, Huerfano, Jackson, Kiowa, Ouray, Park, Pueblo, Routt and Weld counties. 

The final acreage conveyed will be determined after environmental analysis is complete and may be less than the total acreage currently identified for transfer. If the transfer is approved, grazing lessees and permittees may continue grazing under a state authorization and any conveyance to the state will be subject to rights-of-way granted by BLM. Oil and gas leases issued will remain in effect under the terms and conditions of the leases.   

The draft environmental assessment and additional documents are available for review online at: Comments must be received by May 14. The final environmental assessment is expected to be released in summer 2021.  

Please submit comments electronically via the ePlanning site at:, or send written comments to the Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Bruce Krickbaum, 2465 South Townsend Ave., Montrose, CO 81401. Before including your address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in your comment, be aware that your entire comment – including your personal identifying information – may be made publicly available at any time.  



This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Release Date


Bureau of Land Management


Colorado State Office


Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski