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Forest Service Seeks Input on Rio Grande Reservoir Land Exchange Proposal
10/21/2014
Credit:
News For Rio Grande National Forest
The proposal involves exchanging approximately 6 acres of federal land for approximately 8 acres of private land owned by San Luis Valley Irrigation District (SLVID). The proposal also involves the SLVID donating approximately 24 acres of land within the Weminuche Wilderness boundary and a trail easement for the Weminuche Trail (FST 818) to the United States.

The purpose of the proposed exchange is to facilitate SLVID’s efforts to address dam safety through repair of the existing outlet works facility, dam face, and spillway for the Rio Grande Reservoir. The exchange would also reduce Forest Service administrative costs and improve management efficiencies by having facilities associated with the dam located off National Forest System lands.

The lands included in the proposed land exchange are located approximately 35 miles southwest of Creede, Colorado, adjacent to Forest Road 520. Potential public benefits of the proposed land exchange include consolidation of landownership to create a more logical boundary and elimination of non-federal inholdings within the designated boundary of the Weminuche Wilderness Area.

The RGNF will prepare an environmental assessment to analyze the potential impacts of the land exchange and alternatives on the physical, human and biological environment. Public input will help the forest identify issues and develop alternatives for the analysis.

Comments on this project should be submitted by December 3, 2014. Electronic comments should be sent to: comments-rocky-mountain-rio-grande@fs.fed.us. Please include “Rio Grande Reservoir Land Exchange” in the subject line of the e-mail. Written comments may sent by Facsimile to 719-852-6250 or mailed to San Luis Valley Public Lands Center, c/o Kenna Pacheco, 1803 W Highway 160, Monte Vista, CO 81144. Fax: 719-852-6250

For more information, contact Kenna Pacheco at 719-852-6266 or visit the Rio Grande National Forest website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/riogrande/landmanagement/projects.