Today, Congresswoman Lauren Boebert led an effort advocating for Mesa County to the Bureau of Land Management Colorado State Director and requested answers for the five-year delay in Mesa County’s effort to acquire a parcel of land.

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert stated, “Mesa County has been waiting more than five years for federal agencies to sell them a parcel of land that federal agencies claim they no longer need and want to sell. Mesa County plans to use this land for economic development in Clifton. Unfortunately, federal officials have dragged their heels and failed to get this commonsense land exchange done. I support Mesa County’s efforts that will facilitate economic growth in an area that needs new opportunities. I’m hopeful we will see some movement in the near future.”

Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis said, “The County has been working with the BLM for over five years now to get this property. I really appreciate Congresswoman Boebert’s efforts to get this across the finish line. It’ll be a great economic benefit to the Clifton area.”

Background:

For more than five years, Mesa County has been trying to acquire a parcel, at fair market value, that the Bureau of Land Management has designated for disposal and no longer wants.

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s office met with Bureau of Land Management State Director Doug Vilsack to discuss land management policies that are impacting Colorado’s Third District. Additionally, the Congresswoman has been active in public lands issues impacting the region and previously went on a Mesa County field site visit with senior Bureau of Land Management officials.

Congresswoman Lauren Boebert has been a tireless champion defending rural Colorado’s land management interests, and she worked to keep the Bureau of Land Management western headquarters in Grand Junction so that local communities could have a voice in the land management decisions that impact their daily lives. Congresswoman Boebert’s successful effort to keep the Bureau’s western headquarters in Grand Junction secured 56 headquarters jobs and 70 other good-paying Bureau of Land Management jobs in Grand Junction.

The full text of Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s letter to Colorado Bureau of Land Management State Director Doug Vilsack is available here and below:

Dear State Director Vilsack,

I appreciate you recently meeting with my staff and congratulations again on your new position. In September of 2021, my staff joined a meeting with Greg Larsen, Erin Jones, Greg Wolfgang Jen Jardine, John Beck, Mesa County Commissioner Cody Davis and a few others to discuss a parcel in Clifton, Colorado that the Bureau of Land Management has designated for disposal and that the County has been trying to acquire for years, but unfortunately has been unable to do so due to the federal bureaucracy.

Following the meeting, our understanding of the next steps were:

  • BLM has drafted the Suitability determination letter;
  • BLM is working on NEPA documents (categorical exclusion) required to move the parcel to the actual disposal list.
  • BLM has requested documentation from the BOR on existing facilities. You have received some information but are still waiting for a few more documents.
  • As soon as BOR gets BLM the remaining documents, BLM can move forward with the suitability determination and finalize the categorical exclusion document as required by NEPA. 
  • If the suitability determination returns the parcel to BLM management, BLM plans to formally dispose of the parcel. Disposal could include a direct sale to the County at fair market value.

Can you or your team provide an update on progress on any of these 5 points and the current status of each? Can someone also explain and provide justification to why this process has taken approximately 5 years to date to get to where we stand currently?

Given the importance to the local community, I’d encourage your team to work closely with local elected officials on this issue. If I can be of assistance, please let me know. I look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Lauren Boebert

Member of Congress

Cc: Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland

       BLM Director Tracy Stone-Manning    

       BOR Commissioner Maria Camille Calimlim Touton

By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

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