Red Cliffs Land Acquisitions Move Forward

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BLM Press Release

ST. GEORGE, Utah – The BLM moved one step closer to acquiring 80 acres of private inholdings within the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area through a land exchange.  The 80-acre private land inholding, owned by Brennan Holdings, LLC, will be exchanged for approximately 600 acres of public land in Washington County’s Long Valley.  The exchange acreage is based on the Department of the Interior’s Office of Valuation Services appraisals to assure the public is getting value for value in the exchange. 

The 1999 St. George Field Office Resource Management Plan (RMP) includes a commitment to acquire private inholdings in the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area (NCA) through the exchange of public lands or through direct purchase of private land from willing sellers.  Since the RMP was approved, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has acquired more than 6,500 acres of private inholdings in the NCA through exchange, direct purchase, and donation.

“This is a great opportunity for the BLM to acquire additional private inholdings that further the goals of the Washington County Habitat Conservation Plan developed to assist with recovery of the threatened Mojave Desert tortoise,” said Brian Tritle, BLM’s St. George Field Office manager.

The BLM also recently acquired nine acres of private inholdings from Jim Doyle within the Red Cliffs NCA through a direct purchase this October.  The nine-acre parcel was purchased with receipts from previous land sales in Washington County.  “The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 authorizes the BLM to sell parcels of land identified for disposal in the St. George Field Office RMP and to use the funds to purchase private inholdings within the Red Cliffs NCA,” said Tritle.

The BLM will post a notice of decision authorizing the Red Cliffs/Long Valley Exchange on Oct. 7, 2016.  The publication of the notice of decision for the land exchange starts a 45-day protest period.  Notices will be mailed to interested stake holders and those who commented on the environmental assessment for the proposed exchange.  If no protests and subsequent appeals are filed, the titles will convey approximately 65 days following publication.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

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