BLM seeks public comment in possible Buffalo Horn Land Exchange in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties | CraigDailyPress.com

BLM seeks public comment in possible Buffalo Horn Land Exchange in Moffat and Rio Blanco counties

Craig Press staff report

MEEKER — The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public comment on a preliminary environmental assessment of a proposed land exchange in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties that could consolidate public lands and increase public access for hunting and other recreation.
"The BLM will only go forward with a land exchange if it is in the public's interest, and public involvement is a key piece of determining public interest," said BLM White River Field Manager Kent Walter.
The preliminary EA and maps are available at go.usa.gov/xnw2y.
The preliminary environmental assessment of the proposed Buffalo Horn Land Exchange, in which only surface estates would be exchanged, analyzes three alternatives. Land exchanges are based on land value, so the acreages exchanged differ.
Alternative A is the original proposal announced for the public scoping period in December 2016, in which the BLM would acquire three parcels totaling 4,036 acres in exchange for 16 isolated parcels of BLM lands, totaling 3,806 acres.
The preferred alternative, Alternative B, would convey 14 parcels of federal lands, totaling approximately 2,815 acres in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties, for one non-federal parcel in Rio Blanco County, totaling 1,835 acres. The BLM modified the proposal for this alternative to address concerns heard during public scoping about existing hunting access on public parcels and existing surface use agreements on private land.
Alternative C is the no action alternative, in which no lands would be exchanged.
The BLM will hold a public open house meeting from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at the Meeker Public Library, 490 Main St., to provide information and accept written comment.
The BLM will accept public comments through June 6. Comments may be submitted by email to blm_co_wrfo_bhlex@blm.gov or by mail to BLM WRFO, Land Exchange Comments, 220 East Market St., Meeker, CO 81641.
Before including address, phone number, email address or other personal identifying information in a comment, commenters should be aware that the entire comment — including personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While requests may be made to withhold personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee it will be able to do so.