Environment & Public Lands
12:29 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

Land Swap Proposed in Skull Valley

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is asking for public comment on a proposed land swap in the Skull Valley area of Utah's West Desert.   It would trade about 14,000 acres, mostly near the town of Terra, for a similar acreage of private land in and around the Onaqui Mountains east of Dugway. 

The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance supports the trade.  Field Director Ray Bloxham says this is an unspoiled area of the state.

"They're highly scenic," Bloxham says.  "They have incredible wildlife, mainly raptor wildlife.  Right now the land pattern out there has private scattered within 'em, so, again, this land trade can be a positive step to consolidate public land within that mountain range."

The land swap could also improve public access to areas along the old Pony Express Trail and remove some private land within the Cedar Mountain Wilderness.  The public comment deadline is July 17th.

BLM environmental assessment for the proposed Skull Valley land exchange