Blue River Exchange Notice - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-07-2005   #1
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 260
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
KREMMLING, CO
80549

970-724-3000

*******************SPECIAL NOTE:**************************
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.

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Old 07-07-2005   #2
 
Dave Frank's Avatar
 
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,824
I don't fish and have very little interest in this stretch of river, but what this guy is about to pull off sucks for the public. I really hope we can rally lots of folks to write in opposing this deal.

who should we complain to higher up? THis BLM guy must be someone's political minion. Senator? Governor? who else needs to hear our thoughts?

Dave
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Old 07-08-2005   #3
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 112
The head of BLM is a political appointee. He answers to Gale Norton. You can write Norton, him, or your local congressman. Your congessman is your best bet.
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Old 07-08-2005   #4
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 52
Notice and Access on the Blue River

CWWA has had ongoing discussions with the BLM concerning the proposed exchange. The major concern of our members has been the access issue discussed in this thread. My sense is that the BLM sees a lot of value overall in the exchange, and the exchange has a very good chance of being approved. If you are concerned about access above Spring Creek Road, I urge you to provide written comment to the BLM at the address listed in Ole Rivers's post by August 18, 2005. In my discussions with BLM officials, they will consider how the exchange impacts access as part of their review process. I have been told they are evaluating ways to address the access issue, so your input is important. What they are willing to do will likely depend, in part, on the number of written objections they receive. Objections that are based specifically on the access issue will have more value to boaters than simply "I object because land exchanges stink." Whether BLM's solution satisfies you is another issue, but I am hopeful that some resolution can be obtained. CWWA has requested to meet with BLM officials to address the access issues. Our primary concern is the section above Spring Creek Road. I know some people dislike the idea of land exchanges, but they are a reality. If you would like to help organize written objections, please email me at [email protected]. Thanks all. Patrick Tooley, Access Director for CWWA
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