Letter to the Editor: The Blue Valley Ranch land exchange smells fishy to me

Ian Cunningham

Protests and valid concerns over the land swap between Blue Valley Ranch and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management continue to be raised, including lack of conservation easement acceptance on behalf of Blue Valley Ranch, non-guaranteed infrastructure improvements, potential future loss of float access and the undervalued assessment of Parcel I, a treasured fishing spot for many. The stretches of river being offered currently pale in comparison to Parcel I and are essentially not fishable. In the event of a swap, the promised improvements and new access points should be fully completed prior to loss of access to Parcel I.

Sure, this could potentially be revised into a good deal that works for all, but it doesn’t yet seem to be in the public’s best interest. It is important to remember that once an accepted land swap contract is in place, the legal interpretation of the written terms will be used to the greatest advantage of Blue Valley Ranch. Nothing outside of the written contract terms will dictate Blue Valley Ranch’s exchange obligations.

Trout Unlimited has been noted as supporting this exchange. Most anglers and conservationists trust Trout Unlimited to be a credible steward in scenarios like this. Have they been contacted for comment? How did Blue Valley Ranch gain their support? We don’t care about county commissioners or government officials. We want to hear Trout Unlimited speak.

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