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RBC | It’s been a lengthy process, but the Bureau of Land Management, White River Field Office, has issued a decision to approve a land exchange with Buffalo Horn Properties, LLC. The parcels are in the Strawberry Creek and Smith Gulch areas in Rio Blanco and Moffat counties.
In 2011, BLM proposed a Buffalo Horn Land Exchange involving 6,645 acres of private land in six parcels for 7,629 acres of federal land in 18 parcels, the latter generally in the upper Strawberry Creek area. By the end of 2016, the proposal had morphed into exchanging three private parcels comprising 4,036 acres for 16 parcels of BLM comprising 3,806 acres.
After receiving overwhelmingly negative public comments in early 2017, nearly 52 opposed to two in favor, and a challenge from an oil and gas company which had a master surface use agreement already in place on a large private parcel, BLM began reconfiguring their proposal with BHR.
In 2018, BLM issued its Preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) of the Buffalo Horn Land Exchange, proposing as their preferred Alternative B the exchange of 14 parcels, comprising 2,815 acres, of federal ground in the Upper Strawberry Creek and Price Creek area for one parcel of 1,835 acres of BHR land sandwiched between the Windy Gulch and Black Mountain BLM Wilderness Study Areas, just north of Highway 64, about 10 miles west of Meeker.
According to Heather Sauls, Planning and Environmental Coordinator for the White River Field Office of BLM, there have been a few additional changes to the 2018 EA prior to the final decision.
To review a copy of the final decision, see Page 4B in this week’s Public Notices, visit https://go.usa.gov/xnW2y or call Sauls at 970-878-3855.
Interested parties have 45 days from today, Jan. 21, to submit written protests if they believe the decision was made in error to Kent Walter, White River Field Office Manager, at 220 E. Market St., Meeker, Colorado 81641.
By NIKI TURNER | email@example.com