Proposed BLM land transfer to State of Colorado

nontyp

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I’m struggling to understand how 17,700 acres + 6,000 acres of mineral rights settles a debt of 9,000 acres. Someone is getting screwed here and it’s not the land board.
 

COEngineer

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Crazy that something like that sat on the books for 130+ years. I looked at the link for the lands in El Paso County and it is just what they said - BLM sections that are surrounded by State Land will be consolidated.
 

davinski

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The maps are buried a bit, but they're worth some perusal by those familiar with the areas/counties.

Statewide map of dots: https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/projects/nepa/1501863/20008993/250010560/Colorado_State_Indemnity_Selections.pdf

County by county actual parcel maps (unfortunately without relief or trails): https://eplanning.blm.gov/epl-front-office/eplanning/planAndProjectSite.do?methodName=dispatchToPatternPage&currentPageId=200005896+

The first couple I looked at seemed reasonable but that's just two. While I would agree the math doesn't quite add up, there really are some "nuisance" parcels the BLM has that don't make geometric sense for keeping in their fold. Hopefully all of these fall in that category.

Comments due 20 days after press release. I want to support the BLM and USFS in these days of land transfer discussions, but sometimes they really don't do themselves any favors from a PR standpoint. Based on past experience, I bet I know exactly how much signage is currently placed on each of these parcels notifying any actual users of the action. I hope I would bet wrong, but I'd still bet...

A savvy mapping software company might quickly compile a layer for its users to help evaluate this sort of thing with respect to topography, access, and neighbors' names. Said company could win much future loyalty from many users. Hint, hint, site sponsors...
 

COEngineer

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I’m struggling to understand how 17,700 acres + 6,000 acres of mineral rights settles a debt of 9,000 acres. Someone is getting screwed here and it’s not the land board.
Land values have changed dramatically in the past 130 years. It would be a lot harder to find 9,000 acres that are the equivalent value.
 

davinski

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Sidebar, does anyone know if CO state has a PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) system similar to the feds? I would assume the State exempted itself from county property taxes at some point in the past.

A few of these counties ought to know their future PILT payments will decrease with this action. There are a lot of dots in Pueblo, Kiowa, and Dolores counties. Granted, it's small potatoes, but for rural counties, every nickel counts. I suspect they're mostly broke like Mesa county. Theoretically, these new state lands are supposed to generate revenue for the schools, so eventually revenue back to the counties. But that's a circuitous route for a dollar that will get nibbled at at every step of the way.
 

elkduds

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I am extremely wary of any fed effort to transfer land to states. BLM and USFS management is egregiously biased toward oil/gas/mining/extractive under the current "administration." Every proposal they make must be viewed through that lens, first and foremost.


From the GJ Senile article, which is as biased toward oil/gas as everything else the rag publishes:

Under the proposal, existing oil and gas leases would remain in effect on transferred lands under the lease terms and conditions, owners of affected grazing leases and permits would continue grazing under a state authorization, and land conveyances would be subject to rights of way granted by the BLM, the BLM says.
 

nontyp

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Land values have changed dramatically in the past 130 years. It would be a lot harder to find 9,000 acres that are the equivalent value.
No doubt, but hasn’t the value of the 17,700 acres and the 6,000 acres of mineral rights went up drastically too?
 

ImBillT

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No doubt, but hasn’t the value of the 17,700 acres and the 6,000 acres of mineral rights went up drastically too?
In my county I can get land for $900-$1300/acre. In my in-laws’ county it costs upwards of $8k/acre. I can’t speak to the property in question, but the idea that it isn’t possible for the swap to be a fair one is flawed.
 

nontyp

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In my county I can get land for $900-$1300/acre. In my in-laws’ county it costs upwards of $8k/acre. I can’t speak to the property in question, but the idea that it isn’t possible for the swap to be a fair one is flawed.
I do understand that. Maybe I just need to read the fine details. Is it a specific 9,000 acres that is owed? I just assumed that the state was owed 9,000 acres in general. I guess they must be owed 9,000 acres of high value property?
 

elkduds

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More cause for concern from the Senile article: The BLM says the proposal follows the guidelines of an order issued by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Several of these BLM-nominated parcels are adjacent to or contained within Lone Mesa State Park. Ever been there? Probably not. The only way people can get access to this park is to draw a big game license for GMU 711, then enter a raffle for a Park hunting permit, then pay a daily entrance fee. You can't enter the park for any other purpose, except to volunteer to work there. There is no camping, no fishing, no hiking, no birdwatching, no bicycling, no wildlife viewing, no shed hunting, no stargazing, no picnicking, no slacklining or hackeysacking. It is a strange setup, a park that can almost never be used. Even if BLM offloads that land to the state, only a few dozen hunters will have access in any year. Along w the ranch hands grazing cattle inside the state park, and the gas employees monitoring wells in there.

Don't assume every addition to state lands will benefit state residents. If the adjacent state land is leased and unavailable to sportspeople, the BLM inholding swaps will likely fall into the same category: off limits.
 

ImBillT

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I do understand that. Maybe I just need to read the fine details. Is it a specific 9,000 acres that is owed? I just assumed that the state was owed 9,000 acres in general. I guess they must be owed 9,000 acres of high value property?
I have no idea what’s owed or what was given. Just saying that the number of acres shouldn’t be quoted as evidence of inequity on the trade. There’s s lot more to it than that.
 

ImBillT

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More cause for concern from the Senile article: The BLM says the proposal follows the guidelines of an order issued by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt.

Several of these BLM-nominated parcels are adjacent to or contained within Lone Mesa State Park. Ever been there? Probably not. The only way people can get access to this park is to draw a big game license for GMU 711, then enter a raffle for a Park hunting permit, then pay a daily entrance fee. You can't enter the park for any other purpose, except to volunteer to work there. There is no camping, no fishing, no hiking, no birdwatching, no bicycling, no wildlife viewing, no shed hunting, no stargazing, no picnicking, no slacklining or hackeysacking. It is a strange setup, a park that can almost never be used. Even if BLM offloads that land to the state, only a few dozen hunters will have access in any year. Along w the ranch hands grazing cattle inside the state park, and the gas employees monitoring wells in there.

Don't assume every addition to state lands will benefit state residents. If the adjacent state land is leased and unavailable to sportspeople, the BLM inholding swaps will likely fall into the same category: off limits.
If the BLM inholdings were completely surrounded by that park, then were they not already essentially off limits? If so, the land swap will either have no effect on hunting or a positive effect. At least that’s what it sounds like to me.
 

elkduds

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BillT, most of those lands are adjacent to park boundaries, and currently huntable without drawing the park permit, you just need wings and a sky hook. If they became park property, unit 711 hunters without the limited park permit would lose that access. You are correct about the inholding sections.
 
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