Blue River Exchange Notice
As you may know, if you're on the BLM mailing list for the Blue River Valley land exchange, the public input phase of the exchange is *now* in progress between Blue Valley Ranch (Galloway Inc.) and BLM, Dept of Interior, as per the NOTICE OF EXCHANGE PROPOSAL just sent out to the list members at the beginning of July 2005.
The public has 45 days from "July 5" (Susan Cassell) or june 24, 2005, the date noted at the end of the cover letter signed by John Ruhs, BLM Kremmling Field Manager, but "45 days after the initial date of publication of this Notice", according to Susan Cassel at BLM, 970-724-3002 or Dennis Gale at 970-724-3005, the time period in which, formally and in writing only, to provide input.
Other than that, there apparently is no other opportunity to *formally* add written input to the process. THERE ARE NO PUBLIC MEETINGS TO PROVIDE PUBLIC INPUT *WITHIN AND AFFECTING* THE PROCESS.
The *INFORMAL* meeting to be held in Kremmling on August 4, 4-8 pm, at the CSU Extension Hall, *HAS NO BEARING ON THE FORMAL PROCEDURE* and is held late in the public input time period. There will only be about 15 days or less after that meeting to provide written input.
In other words, if anyone is going to object to or approve of the exchange, or whatever, they have until about Aug 20 to do it and it must be submitted *in writing*.
I have been following the exchange for a good while now, have color maps of the exchange for a while and have talked to people at BLM several times also.
I am a flyfisherman, occasionally fish the lower Blue, promote maintaining/gaining water access to our publicly owned waters and our publicly owned fish in general and that is the interest and perspective I have with this exchange.
In particular, my concern, should the exchange go through, is with the area above Spring Creek bridge. Parcel 10 in the exchange, is the property upstream of Spring Creek on the east side of the river and south of Blue Valley Acres. In the exchange,it is an easement only, not the entire piece of property, AND PROVIDES NO ACCESS TO OR FISHING/BOATING USAGE OF THE RIVER FRONTAGE *ON* THE PARCEL OR DOWNSTREAM TO THE BRIDGE.
IMHO, there should be access to/usage of this frontage included in the exchange to fish/put in/take out this section of river. There should also be *walking* access from Spring Creek bridge up river ON BOTH SIDES to the public property above parcel 10 and also on the other side. Blue Valley's interest in privacy, practically, is down from the bridge, not up. Walking access to/from above the bridge may go a long way to placate those who oppose the exchange.
IMO, ADVOCACY TO INCLUDE WALKING ACCESS TO AND USE OF THE RIVER FRONTAGE OF PARCEL 10 AND TO SPRING CREEK BRIDGE ON BOTH SIDES WHILE MAINTAINING PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS OF PRIVACY CONCERNING TRESPASSING ON OTHER PORTIONS OF THE PARCEL AND AFFECTED PROPERTIES SHOULD BE INCLUDED AS A *CLAIM* IN THE EXCHANGE PROPOSAL FOR OUR PUBLIC RIGHTS TO THE ACCESS TO AND USE OF OUR PUBLICLY OWNED WATER AND OUR PUBLICLY OWNED FISH INTO THE EXCHANGE PROCEDURE VIA WRITING THIS INCLUSION/CLAIM AS YOUR INPUT TO:
JOHN F. RUHS, FIELD MANAGER
BLM KREMMLING FIELD OFFICE
PO BOX 68
IF AN ATTORNEY COULD PARTICIPATE AND FASHION THIS INCLUSION/CLAIM, IT MAY POSSIBLY BE USED TO ***SET A PRECEDENT*** TO ALTER THE ACCESS/USAGE LAWS OF COLORADO OVERALL AND/OR IN FUTURE LAND EXCHANGES INVOLVING RIVERFRONTAGE.
This aspect could be the most important part of the exchange...
Do you or your boating organizations know any lawyers who would look into this???
The access from parcel 10, realistically and practically, only enables walking access up river only about several hundred yards up into the canyon before it is cliffed out and unfordable in summer flows.
Also, the easement appears to provide a put in/take out/rest stop for boaters on the upstream side of parcel 10 although it is in a riffle area above the irrigation river structure rather than an easy side water pool.
Bookmark this thread for future reference... (?)
Call, write and act now to have your voice heard.