|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
December 8, 2006
Contact: Amelia Orton-Palmer, 303-236-8179
Service Seeks Public Comments on a Proposal for Exchange of Lands between the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area and Dee’s Corporation
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is seeking public comment on a draft environmental assessment of Utah’s proposed project entitled “Hardware Ranch Land Exchange: Involving Lands Owned by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Dee’s Corporation, Inc.” Public comments are welcome for a 30-day period, through January 8, 2007.
The Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area (Hardware Ranch) was purchased by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (Division) under a series of grants awarded by the Service, acting under provisions of the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act of 1937 (Wildlife Restoration Act). Parcels of Hardware Ranch are currently interspersed among those of Dee’s Corporation, Inc., while some of Dee’s Corporation parcels are surrounded by Division land, resulting in irregular and sometimes discontinuous boundaries. As a result, hunters and other recreationists using the Hardware Ranch area often find it difficult to determine the locations of property lines and may unintentionally enter private property. The complicated boundaries also make it more difficult for the Division and Dee’s Corporation to access portions of their own lands for routine operations and maintenance tasks. Additionally, Dee’s Corporation plans to fence much of its property, which would further inhibit the ability for the public and the Division to access isolated portions of Hardware Ranch.
In order to reduce these problems, increase access to Hardware Ranch for the public, and enable Dee’s Corporation and the Division to more easily manage their properties and reduce associated costs, the two landowners have proposed to exchange certain parcels that would result in a continuous property boundary.
The proposed land exchange would involve Dee’s Corporation providing the Division with 818 acres in exchange for 838 acres of Division land. Dee’s Corporation would pay the Division the $10,000 difference in value, which the Division would credit back to a grant account to be reinvested in other projects under the Wildlife Restoration Act grant program.
Detailed information on each alternative considered for this proposed project is contained in the draft environmental assessment.
Public comment on the proposal and draft environmental assessment will help the Service decide whether to approve the proposed project. The Service also must determine the proposed project’s eligibility under the Wildlife Restoration Act grant program, assess its character and design, and ensure compliance with federal rules and regulations.
Copies of the draft environmental assessment, which include details of the Division’s proposed action, alternative actions and decisions to be made by the Service, are available online by clicking on the title of the document at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance. Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Service’s Division of Federal Assistance at 303-236-5420. Send comments to: Chief, Division of Federal Assistance, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO 80225
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses 545 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resources offices and 81 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign and Native American tribal governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Assistance program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.
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