Maps and info available at the USFS ranger station in Eagle; comments taken through March 11
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — The U.S. Forest Service is looking for input on a major land swap in Eagle County, with 10 parcels of land (986 acres) of national forest land going into private ownership in exchange of about 1,285 acres of private land that would go into public ownership.
The national forest lands to be traded are along the I-70 corridor between Edwards and Vail. The private lands going to the Forest Service are north and south of Edwards. Some of the National Forest parcels could go to Eagle County, the town of Avon and possibly Minturn. The swap is being facilitated by Western Land Group, Inc.
“We’re analyzing this land exchange because we really believe it’s in the public interest,” said Eagle/Holy Cross District Ranger Dave Neely. “These kinds of exchanges are consistent with our Forest Plan and are encouraged by national direction, largely because isolated parcels of National Forest land are difficult and costly for us to manage, and many are very suitable for other uses. If we can exchange these tracts for private lands that are contiguous to or within the forest boundary that provide good wildlife habitat and opportunities for dispersed recreation, that’s good for those of us here in the valley and for the public as a whole.”
In exchange for the ten parcels — three in the Edwards area, four in the Avon area, two in the Minturn area and one in the Vail — the Colorado State Land Board and Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority propose to convey two State School Board Sections of land, one North of Edwards and one South of Edwards and a 5-acre parcel north of Edwards, to the public.
These parcels include extensive wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities. Any parcels of National Forest lands not necessary to result in an equal value exchange will either be removed from the Exchange and remain in National Forest ownership, or additional Non-Federal lands will be added to the exchange.
As part of the environmental analysis process, the Forest Service is inviting public comments regarding this proposed land exchange. All written comments should be sent to: David Neely, District Ranger, Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District, P.O. Box 720, Eagle, CO. 81631, no later than March 11, 2011. In addition, the complete information for this exchange can be viewed at the Eagle Ranger District office at 125 W. 5th Street, Eagle Colorado by contacting Bill Johnson, Eagle/Holy Cross Ranger District, at (970) 328-5869, and arranging a time to look at the proposal.
Filed under: Colorado, Summit County Colorado, Summit County news, US Forest Service, White River National Forest Tagged: | Eagle County land exchange, Environment, land trades, Summit County News, U.S. Forest Service, United States, United States Forest Service, White River National Forest