|The Mountain-Prairie Region|
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
134 Union Boulevard
Lakewood, Colorado 80228
April 20, 1998
Jacque Richy (303) 236-8155 x236
Mary Gessner (303) 236-8155 x242
Sharon Rose (303) 236-7917 x415
PROPERTY ACQUIRED WITH FEDERAL AID FUNDS
RETURNED TO DIVISION OF WILDLIFE
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, an environmental assessment on transferring 13.5 acres at the Escalante State Wildlife Area from the Colorado Division of Wildlife to the Colorado Department of Corrections is no longer necessary. The Department of Corrections has formally withdrawn its request to acquire the property purchased with Federal Aid funds and full control of the parcel has been returned to the Division of Wildlife.
"We are pleased that this parcel of land will once again be dedicated to use by wildlife," said Ralph Morgenweck, Director for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Mountain-Prairie region.
The area will be allowed to revegetate naturally and the Colorado Department of Corrections has taken actions that will return the area to as near the original condition as possible, including removal of fences.
In December 1994, the Division of Wildlife leased approximately 90.5 acres at the Escalante State Wildlife Area to the Department of Corrections for use as the minimum security prison known as the Delta Correctional Center. The 90.5 acres included 13.5 acres that had been acquired by the Division of Wildlife with Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration funds. In January 1995, the Service notified the Division of Wildlife that the lease with the Department of Corrections at Escalante resulted in a loss of management control of the 13.5 acres. The Division of Wildlife was required to regain full control of 13.5 acres or take action to replace it with property of equal value and equal wildlife benefits. The Department of Corrections initially expressed interest in obtaining the 13.5 acres of Federal Aid property. Since transfer of the property purchased with Federal Aid funds is subject to the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act, in April 1996 the Service had initiated preparation of an environmental assessment on the proposed land transfer. With full control of the property restored to the Division of Wildlife, no further action is necessary.
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