e review, comment on, and chal-lenge land sales and exchanges acrosspublic lands throughout the West.We are currently monitoring over 90projectsranging rom a proposal by theU.S. Marines to take over 72,000 acres o public land or military training, to a Forest Service proposal to sell 0.9 acres. Otherprojects currently being monitored include:
Arvada Land Sale, Utah:
This project wouldsell 118 acres o public land and would relo-cate threatened desert tortoises to a Bureauo Land Management Area o Critical Envi-ronmental Concern. We are challengingthe planned continuation o grazing in theACEC ater tortoises are placed there.
Coy Flat Land Exchange, Caliornia:
A summer home association in the Giant Sequoia National Monument proposes totrade 97 acres in three parcels to the Forest Service in exchange or 65 acres.
Campbell Land Exchange, Oregon
: A Port-land veterinarian, Dr. Scott Campbell, haspurchased a 1,000-acre private inholdingon Steens Mountain in southeast Oregonwith the intention o trading it to the BLMor some 11,000 acres in the Silvies Valley,north o Burns. Western Lands obtainedthe project fle under the Freedom o Inormation Act, and documents show that the public land Campbell covets comprisescritical wildlie habitatincluding wetlandand riparian areas that were consolidatedin public ownership through past landtrades. The proposal is so bad that the BLMreuses to advance it. Campbell is seeking acongressional sponsor or his exchange.
Santa Teresa Land Exchange, New Mexico:
This project would trade approximately 7300 acres o BLM-managed land or morethan 12,800 acres o New Mexico StateTrust lands. BLM is seeking this exchangeto acquire lesser prairie-chicken andsand dune lizard habitat in southern NewMexico, while the New Mexico State LandOfce intends to sell the lands it wouldacquire – much o it near the outskirts o communities. We are analyzing the environ-mental assessment prepared or this pro-posed trade.
Grizzly Land Exchange, South Dakota:
Approximately 450 acres o Black HillsNational Forest land would be exchangedor 227 acres owned by Homestake MiningCompany. Homestake claims the land it would acquire would be used as a buer ormining reclamation work.
Land Deal Scandals not Greek to us!
It turns out America doesn’t have a monop-oly on shady land deals ater all. This all,a scandal erupted in Greece involving over260 suspicious land deals conducted since1999. With all the elements o a made-or-TV drama high stakes, a wealthy andsecretive monastery, and corrupt publicofcials this land deal scandal makesthose o the U.S. downright boring.At the center o this controversy is theAbbot o the Vatopedi monastery, a 1,000year old, all-male monastery associated withthe Greek Orthodox Church. The Abbot is accused o swindling the Greek peopleout o an estimated $136 million by tradingcheap waterront property owned by themonastery in exchange or valuable publiclands. Allegedly, he had the help o com-plicit government ofcials.Although the latest land deals were can-celed once suspicions were raised, theinvestigation is ongoing. So ar, the govern-ment has admitted that these deals werenot in the public interest, and two nationalministers have resigned amidst the scandal.To read more about this Greek scandal,check out the
New York Times
We now oerour two publica-tions or ree indownloadablePDF fles. Con-tact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request one orboth.
“Commons or Commodity? The Dilemma o Federal Land Exchanges” by George Draan & Janine Blaeloch “The Citizens’ Guide to Federal Land Exchanges: A Manual or Public Lands Advocates” by Janine Blaeloch