|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
March 15, 2007
Amelia Orton-Palmer, 303-236-8179
David McGillivary, 303-236-4411
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Approves Proposal for Exchange of Lands between the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area and Dee’s Corporation, Cache County, Utah
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has determined a “Finding of No Significant Impact” for the final Environmental Assessment (EA) of Utah Division of Wildlife (Division) proposed project entitled “Hardware Ranch Land Exchange: Involving Lands Owned by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and Dee’s Corporation, Inc.” The proposal is a Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration project administered jointly by the Division and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area (Hardware Ranch) was purchased by the 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 operation 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.
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 will result in a continuous property boundary.
The proposed land exchange will involve Dee’s Corporation providing the Division with 818 acres in exchange for 838 acres of Division land. Dee’s Corporation will pay the Division the $13,400 difference in value, which the Division will credit back to a grant account to be reinvested in other projects under their Wildlife Restoration Act grant program.
Public comments were solicited on the draft EA through a public notice for 30 days. The public notice was also sent by direct mail to nearly 60 potentially interested parties, including local and State governments, private individuals, and not-for-profit organizations. Comments received are addressed in the final EA.
Copies of the final EA, which include details of the Division’s proposed action, alternative actions, decisions, response to public comments are available online at http://mountain-prairie.fws.gov/federalassistance. Those without internet access may request copies by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 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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