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Discussion Starter #1
For anyone interested in the land exchange proposed by Blue Valley Ranch and now under consideration, you can find a detailed update, a copy of the notice of the proposed exchange detailing the proposal, and a color map showing the parcels involved at CWWA's website: www.coloradowhitewater.org.
If you have comments or objections to the proposed land exchange you should submit them in writing to the BLM. Although you can provide informal input at the BLM's August 4 open house, according to Notice of Exchange Proposal, for your comments to be considered part of formal impact evaluation phase of the proposal, your mailed, written comments must be received by the BLM on or before August 18, 2005. Your written comments or objections should be sent to:

John Ruhs, Field Manager
Bureau of Land Management, Kremmling Field Office
2103 E. Park Ave.
P.O. Pox 68
Kremmling, CO 80459-0068
The BLM's August 4th open house will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the CSU Extension Hall in Kremmling to answer questions about the proposed exchange and receive public input. The BLM will also be providing a field tour on August 5, 2005, at 9 a.m. You do not need to call ahead to attend the August 4 open house, but you will need to call Susan Cassel or Dennis Gale (970) 724-3000 at BLM in advance if you would like to attend the field tour.
The CWWA board will file a written statement concerning the proposed exchange. If you have input you would like CWWA to consider, please send me an email on or before August 10th at [email protected].
Thanks, Patrick
 

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Patrick,

I am having a hard time understanding most of the mumbo-jumbo legal speak. But one thing that appears to be apparent, is that the Gore putin is either in or very near this proposed swap. Is that true? If so, is there danger of actual Gore canyon access issues?

If you would please ellaborate, I would be very appreciative.

Crawdad
 

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hey patrick,
this is nathan, I got the BLM to send me the packet, but I haven't gotten to really look at it. does the proposed swap still have the potential to close any access to the lower blue run also?

I appreciate that you aren't "coaching" us too much on what we write, but I could use some myself, just to know what the best approach might be... :wink: I sent you an email to your dillanddill acct last week, or my email should be available on here I think??

thanks!!
 

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It is my understanding that the only "run" in jeopardy is the fishing run below the green Mt run.

The main issue (assuming you won't miss the fishing) is to stop the precedent of allowing the BLM to trade away nice river frontage for a whole bunch of lously land. They have to make it an "equal value" trade. THat is why he has to give up so many thousands of acres to get "even" with the stuff he wants to aquire. It is such a clear case of the rich buying there way into what should be public water.

While the actual land he hopes acquire is only somewhat valuable, it effectively privitizes that whole steretch, which then becomes very valuable.

I looked briefly at the legal stuff and found it very hard to figure which parcels were headed where.
 

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Dave - that's my impression of the thing also except for one thing. The swap's 2016 acres of currently private land for 1773 acres of currently public (yours and my) land. That means that the rich guy's only giving up an additional 240 acres, or about a 15% premium, to gain about a mile of river front property. Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for the rich guy to me!

I downloaded the notice from the CWWA site and checked out the map and summary table in the back. I've never run that part of the Blue before and don't know anything about the takeouts and stuff but from what I can figure out, the BLM will be giving up Parcels G&H and Parcel I on the Lower Blue, which have 3,700 and 1,600 ft of riverfront land, respectively. To my knowledge this is the only public land on that entire reach of the Lower Blue. This will effectively make it so that you can't stop and stretch your legs, take a leak, or get out of your boat without the risk of a trespass charge. And from what others have said on this forum, the rich guy's got his flunkies hiding out in the woods just waiting for folks to step on his land so he can have the sheriff (of Nottingham?) bust them at the take out. Which will make anyone, law abiding or not, all the more reluctant to boat the public river that runs through his "private paradise."

I think of the analogy of a bikepath where you have to keep pedaling, and if your foot touches the ground you get busted for trespass. That's why I oppose the riverfront portion of the swap.

They're sweetening the pot by giving some land to Summit Co. open space. This, combined with the irrestible tendency of small town realtors-turned-politicians to suck up to big money, helps get the Summit County Commissioners to support it. If you live in Summit or Grand Counties you really need to put pressure on your commissioners (using a much more diplomatic style than I just did). See the other post in the Alerts section for their response to my email to them in this thread: http://mountainbuzz.com/viewtopic.php?t=3623&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0

Can someone who's done a more thorough analysis please correct me if I'm wrong about the swap? I want to have my facts straight when I comment on this to the BLM.

--Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey guys. Sorry for the delay in responding to your questions. Crawdad, my understanding is the proposed exchange will not adversely impact access for the Gore Canyon run. Hey Nathan, good to hear from you. Hope you are having a good boating season (btw, I did not get your email). The proposed exchange does not directly impact access on the run between the dam and spring creek road. However, if Blue Valley Ranch were ever to oppose people using the current take out, which is on private land, running the Blue down to the Kremmling area would be difficult, because the proposed exchange would eliminate stopping and resting spots downstream. I have been assured by the BVR ranch manager that Blue Valley Ranch has no interest in removing the take-out and in fact wants to encourage people to take out at the bridge rather than continuing downstream. I take these representations at face value, but with the knowledge that owners and circumstances change. Nathan, from my personal perspective, I could support the exchange if I knew the take-out was permanent. I understand Andy's concerns, and clearly people, including the local and federal agencies, want this deal to go through. So, I would like to use this opportunity to address a specific issue, rather than to complain generally that the concept of land exchanges is flawed, since the exchange will likely happen. I would suggest that comments to the BLM start with the idea that if the take-out is eliminated, the exchange will adversely impact recreational use of the river by kayakers and others. BLM cannot now assure us that the take-out will always be available. Thus, if we lose the take out, for all intents and purposes, we would lose the run from the dam to spring creek road. This problem needs to be addressed. (CWWA is exploring with BLM ways to address this problem.) One other thing, I know in previous posts people have flamed Paul Tudor Jones. I do think Blue Valley Ranch has been pretty decent to boaters on the section of the lower blue we typically run. The take-out has been improved and BVR certainly hasn't taken the arrogant territorial landowner position that anyone who floats on water that flows through private land is committing criminal trespass. I would encourage everyone to share their concerns with BLM. The more input, the more we will be listened to. Hopefully we will be loud enough to be heard. Cheers
 

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agreed, I've never gotten more than a smile and a wave from the girls at the ranch on spring rd. is there any way the exchange could be amended to include (i.e. force) a public right of way take out in case the current one is closed down for any reason? I mean, it's exactly why the guy wants the land, but if we made it a stipulation that he had to provide...?

of course I'm assuming "we" have some kind of say... :roll:
 

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Comments Needed ASAP

Comments to the BLM are needed ASAP. The comment period closes on Wednesday August 18 so if you can jot down your thoughts on the proposed land excnhange and put them into an envelope, please do so now. Everything you need to be able to comment sensibly is on the CWWA website. Parcels G, H, and I comprise more than a mile of riverfront property and will be removed from the public lands that are owned by US citizens.

Like we REALLY need more private river front property in Colorado...

--Andy
 

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A couple of months ago, when this issue first surfaced, I wrote a letter to all the county commisioners of Summit and Grand outlining my concerns and asking them to oppose the trade. Amazingly, they all e-mailed me back. As a resident of Summit I was very disappointed to hear that the Summit commissioners basically didn't care about the loss of a valuable recreational canyon simply because Summit County would have a net gain of acreage in this deal. The Grand County commissioners, however were very friendly, receptive, and thankful for the input. Although the section of river that would be lost is not my favorite whitewater, by any means, it is still a great beginner stretch and a beautiful area to float through. Now that things have progressed, I also plan on writing the BLM.

COUNT
 

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Blue Valley Land Swap

Hey guys

Thanks to all for the concern. Since it is now the 18th of August, you can also email comments to the BLM.

[email protected]

The thing that really makes me nervous about this whole thing is the pontential for a precedent to be set. We already hold onto our right to float through public land by a thread. There is not a clear cut definition of what is "navigable" water. I have an uncomfortable feeling that losing any public land on our waterways could come back to haunt us.

I do not believe that Paul Jones is going to stop at this swap. I think he will eventually see that the classic takeout at Spring Creek Road is closed to the public. This could also be used as a put in by fishermen. He wants his little playground to be in tact. Put yourself in his position. If you wanted to keep people out of your land, would you allow any access to remain that would make a shorter float for fishemen and therefore make it a bit more desireable since you would not have to do a 16-17 mile float in one day? In addition to being a paddler, I own a fly shop. I have had people in my shop that have been approached in the river by someone presumably representing BVR, and possibly the man himself saying that he "wished they would not float through his land, on his river and fish to his fish". That seems a bit much even for someone that is used to having it his way.

I did think the comments from the Summit County commisioners was interesting. The positive aspects of the swap would be felt in their county, and the negative in Grand County. I could probably ramble on, but get your comments in to the BLM.

Tiny
 
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