Blue river land swap Update - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 05-16-2018   #1
 
denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
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Blue river land swap Update

Hi all, the process of the blm exchanging land with Blue Valley Ranch is proceeding. This process has been going on for a few years now, but public comments are accepted until June 25.

Personally I am against the swap, as boaters will lose the very few pieces of public land available on this stretch to stop and have a break, to have lunch or just stretch the legs. If this goes through, one land owner will essentially own about 8 straight miles of raftable river in a state where it is illegal to touch land that is not public.

I encourage everyone and anyone to voice their opinion against.

Here is the blm link.

https://www.blm.gov/press-release/bl...hange-proposal


Thanks

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Old 05-16-2018   #2
 
Denver, Colorado
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Thanks for the update. I've floated that stretch for many years and have gone back and forth depending on how I'm feeling on that particular day. Just throwing my thoughts from both sides out there to get bashed or supported to see what others think.

1. Doing the swap is in the best interest of the public at large (I think) wherein it provides more access to the river. Wade fisherman can access more of the water the floaters have been using for years, plus boaters get a legit takeout other than the mosquito lagoon or the rails at the gore put in. Ultimately BLM is giving up land that is usable to very few for the interest of many.

2. Not doing the swap allows those that float the river a place to stop, and as stated earlier eat lunch etc. Keeping the trough road access allows some to run just canyon floats instead of having to float the entire stretch in one day which is a challenge with shuttles etc as it is already a long day.

3. Doing the swap will encourage more usage, which for me is a negative but a reality of life. I'd like to think that having a significant increase in usage in an area that is somewhat remote and difficult to provide help to is a long term issue.

Just different ways I've thought about it but I'm sure others have more in depth thoughts and input. Flame on.
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Old 05-17-2018   #3
 
Wolcott, Colorado
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So in reading the BLM proposal, all the land swaps to occur are below Jones ranch? Closer to trough road? Is that what is referred to as Blue Valley Ranch?
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Old 05-17-2018   #4
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dakpowderday View Post
So in reading the BLM proposal, all the land swaps to occur are below Jones ranch? Closer to trough road? Is that what is referred to as Blue Valley Ranch?
Jones ranch is Blue Valley Ranch. The maps at the end of the BLM document show the change. You can also see the details in less cryptic un-federal presentation here Overview : Blue Valley Ranch . The reason it is being argued as good for the public is that a lot of that BLM land is currently inaccessible to the public. It is also worth noting that access will be improved (a negative for some that don't want other people using their public land and keep it to themselves) and that BVR will be financing and providing improved public access (on their private land) at spring creek bridge, possibly making shuttle easier?.

The number of access points won't change. Green Mountain Canyon access will significantly improve and become all public land. And the crowds are not going to increase much; sorry for those of you that want it exclusively to yourselves and think its so great city folk will invade, people aren't going to start driving to invade your middle of nowhere spot because there is an improved boat ramp.

It is worth noting that BVR is not doing some land grab for making a profit. They have been working on this plan for a decade. Blue Valley Ranch is a billionaire conservationist's pet project wildlife preserve. He purchased the ranch because developers wanted to buy the land and destroy the elk migration route. And you won't lose your "lunch stops"; my friend and his family grew up as ranch hands and still work managing BVR, and I can tell you mama Stueben won't mind if you pull over to drink a beer on the "private" riverbank as long as you don't bother the wildlife, play loud music, or leave trash.

The Jones family (owners of the ranch) has money to burn and it is in their interest to maintain this stuff better than the BLM would otherwise and improve the public image of their philanthropic hobby farm.

BTW, they have senior water rights and if you are really really nice you might be able to convince them to call it in for Gorefest... not likely.
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Old 05-17-2018   #5
 
Denver, Colorado
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I remember reading about this last year and my impressions were that it was a positive move all around. BLM (you and me) will gain land, access is improved, hunting areas are improved (if your into that) and the ranch consolidates land. Seems like a good idea.
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Old 05-17-2018   #6
 
denver, Colorado
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Just some info to clarify.

The put in is not going to be improved under this plan and will still require repelling the boat down the hill, which is starting to erode substantially.

Spring creek will remain a take out only.

As for the idea of stopping on private land, and that is ok with the land owner, I can personally tell you, from experience, that you can expect a ticket and an unkind reception.

However, if you like to wade fish, this plan does increase your access to the north end and east side of the river. The plan also gives access to the public for fishing at the take out, and supposedly will have river improvements for trout habitat. This is needed in this area as the river has a very silty bottom from erosion.

I can’t quite figure out the take out improvement though. I think the take is probably now going to be the Gore put in, but maybe not.

Personally, I feel that the public losing any water land is a negiative in Colorado

Lastly, I would argue that the idea of the BVR being this holistic, nature reserve with a kind heart, is pretty far fetched. This ranch is a case of someone with a lot of wealth wanting a lot of premier wildlife and land for themselves. And that is part of the world economy, which I will not dispute, and he has rights to this.

Perhaps I will be proven wrong, but I will remain with that view until the landowner gives the public access to land, for hiking, boating and fishing.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-20-2018   #7
 
Denver, Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2018
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I have to agree with Wamsley, in that this proposal is only meant to shore up BVR's river frontage for their personal use. Any comments to the nature of this facility being a positive impact on the environment is mostly false. The fish in this place are not normal, by any means, and are grown specifically for size and catchability. It has not had the nickname of Jurassic Park all these years for no reason.

I do know that they are working on the overall valley health with the addition of tree stands as well as all the great work with the game fences along 9, and that is of great value, but if this is allowed, we allow one person to own the entire thing. I have personally been confronted on public land by ranch personnel and the experience only tempered my resolve to be against any change for these land owners. If they want the public to be for this they may want to relax their use of armed security watching every boater all the time. Please, "Pull over and have a beer or lunch, they wont mind" Right! You will be fined not by BVR but by a public official in a Grand County Sheriff's vehicle.

The best thing for CO is to pass a bill for river access to be changed to public land is river bed up to 6ft above high water line on all navigable waters. The same as all the other Western states.

Apologies for the rant. Ill go get more coffee. Stay upright folks
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Old 06-11-2018   #8
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
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While I believe that what BVR has done for this valley is truly incredible, this is an unfair land exchange looking at Blue river access. Losing the BLM Blue river access off of Trough Rd is extremely disappointing. Anglers should know that in terms of river access, this exchange is very unfair. It is already a very small stretch of river that is public, so why should anything change? The exchange will reduce river accessibility for anglers as a whole, and will take away a truly special section of river. Green Mountain Canyon is a good fishery, but it is very challenging to access the sections that will become public in the proposed land swap.

Please send in your comments while there is still time! Please email your comment to [email protected] “DOI-BLM-CO-N020-2016-0046-EIS (Blue Valley Land Exchange)”

Thanks!
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Old 06-11-2018   #9
 
denver, Colorado
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I posted a different thread about the lawsuit going on in the Arkansas river valley pertaining to making river beds public domain.

Worth consideration that laws can change and if the public ends up losing river access, like would happen in this exchange, then the river will always be in private hands.

Please send in comments against the land swap.
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Old 06-11-2018   #10
 
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Wheat Ridge, Colorado
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Done.

This makes it super easy:

[email protected], subject line: “DOI-BLM-CO-N020-2016-0046-EIS (Blue Valley Land Exchange)”

-AH
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