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Old 03-10-2011   #1
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pillaging...

The Durango Herald 03/09/2011 | Forest Service will study land swap

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Old 03-10-2011   #2
 
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Pillaging is the correct term.

As someone working in the ski industry in Pagosa this winter, it's a sad thought that this development could happen. The tax money wouldn't go to Pagosa or Archuleta County, where a majority of the infrastructure and employment resides. The development and jobs "Red" and his cronies speak so highly of would be short lived for the area. Yes, it would provide more jobs at the village but ultimately take jobs, taxes, interest, and much more away from Pagosa and South Fork. Think Summit County, Vail valley, etc.

Another rich Texan, and yes Red and his lawyers reside in Texas, gettin' rich off Colorado land. Haven't we seen this shit before?
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Old 03-10-2011   #3
 
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Colorado Wild - Friends of Wolf Creek
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Old 03-11-2011   #4
 
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I must say that I'm a bit surprised at people being against this move. Personally, I'm against building a huge base area in a wetland, and a land swap seems like a great way to rectify the situation. To each his own I guess....
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Old 03-11-2011   #5
 
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Casey, it boils down to he can do a trade because he has money. You and I can't.

From the article: The proposed trade would exchange 178 acres of private land for 204 acres of Forest Service land a bit farther away from Wolf Creek Ski Area. A Forest Service land appraisal suggested the federal land is worth less than the private land.

If the 204 is truly less then why trade? Obviously it's not worth less. And if you or I try to get 10 acres here and trade for 5 there we'll get the flat out NO and they wouldn't look twice at us. Classic example of tax payer funded land being whored out to the rich.
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Old 03-14-2011   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hojo View Post
Casey, it boils down to he can do a trade because he has money. You and I can't. Actually, I can't because I don't own land on Wolf Creeek Pass to trade.

From the article: The proposed trade would exchange 178 acres of private land for 204 acres of Forest Service land a bit farther away from Wolf Creek Ski Area. A Forest Service land appraisal suggested the federal land is worth less than the private land. My read is that the land is worth less per acre (thus thus the swap of 178 acres for 204 acres).

If the 204 is truly less then why trade? Obviously it's not worth less. And if you or I try to get 10 acres here and trade for 5 there we'll get the flat out NO and they wouldn't look twice at us. Classic example of tax payer funded land being whored out to the rich. I think the above explanation will help you here.
-Casey
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Old 03-14-2011   #7
 
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Firstly, I would agree that if they are going to develop, don't do it in the wet land.

In the letter of the law: Yes, you could trade if you owned land. In the politics of the law you have to have a lot of money or a significant contribution. That'swhat they are hoping for for in this deal (save the wetland). It looks innocuous on paper: http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medial...at/h2200-1.pdf but in practice, it's not simple and it's often used in a manner that can be deemed very much against the public good.

As far as valuation goes, who is appraising it? Can you think of any circumstances where the sale of public land was done so without proper oversight and for values far below what they should have been?

There are so many facets into this when you look at the way a transaction can be done. Give or take one acre per side and all of the sudden it doesn't meet the criteria. Is this land swap, given that he probably can't develop the wet land anyhow, will the public interests be truly served or will it be commercial interests?

Take a look at that and this document for the process: http://www.blm.gov/flpma/FLPMA.pdf
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Old 03-14-2011   #8
 
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Hojo-
I get your point. Unfortunately, on issues where people feel passionately that someone is doing wrong, they can often get blinded and expect a conspiracy. Then, when they point out these "conspiracy" issues, they undercut their argument and come off as wackos.
-The valuation of said properties is an example. The idea that the total value is unbalanced (when to me it seemed pretty obvious in the article that the value of an acre is unbalanced...and thus the acreage difference in the swap). When pointed out, all of a sudden the "giveaway" has no thrust in the argument and the person on that side of the issue looks like wacko.
-Another example is saying things like "who exactly is doing this appraisal?" In the article it clearly says a "Forest Service land appraisal". My assumption is that it is either the Forest Service doing the appraisal, or they have a set of guidelines that the 3rd party appraiser must follow. Either way, if it is a concern, research it! Don't imply that there is wrong doing, just because you don't know.

Ultimately, I don't think I'd get along with Ol Red, but at least his motivations are transparent (to make as much money off his land as possible). In this issue, everyone needs to ask themself what their motivations are and whether or not they are applying them equitably. Am I against this because he's from Texas? Am I against every Texan? Jack Johnson? Lee Harvey Oswald (bad example)?

Me personally, I just like the process and the debate.
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Old 03-14-2011   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseybailey View Post
Hojo-

-Another example is saying things like "who exactly is doing this appraisal?" In the article it clearly says a "Forest Service land appraisal". My assumption is that it is either the Forest Service doing the appraisal, or they have a set of guidelines that the 3rd party appraiser must follow. Either way, if it is a concern, research it! Don't imply that there is wrong doing, just because you don't know.

Ultimately, I don't think I'd get along with Ol Red, but at least his motivations are transparent (to make as much money off his land as possible). In this issue, everyone needs to ask themself what their motivations are and whether or not they are applying them equitably. Am I against this because he's from Texas? Am I against every Texan? Jack Johnson? Lee Harvey Oswald (bad example)?

Me personally, I just like the process and the debate.
Conspiracy is usually always based in some sort of truth or fact: Federal audit blasts Denver Stapleton airport land deals - The Denver Post Surely this was appraised according to policies and procedures. Surely someone checked to see if Tom Cruise's land was actually ag. land. $400 in taxes? I guarantee if I put a sheep on my land and try to get an ag break the assessor would laugh me out of his office.

If a developer want's to develop then he can do like he's supposed to and buy the land. Land trades can be grossly abused.

Protecting public land is important to me. I fear we will have no public land. When I see a land deal that slowly sucks away land I get concerned. Red may be transparent but that doesn't mean what he is attempting to do is right. Red may not grease the wheels (or he may) but too many have done so before him and that is cause enough to be very leery.
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Old 03-14-2011   #10
 
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Just to drive my point home about land values... http://www.westlx.org/landtradesfraught.pdf The top two abuses of land trade deals: poor assessment and deals of questionable public benefit. I would say my caution on the side of "this deal stinks" is justified based on precedent. Not to say that you're not being fair and open for discussion.
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