The citizen group Colorado Wild and Public Lands has won a request to delay the closing of a controversial land exchange.
The Bureau of Land Management announced earlier this week that it would complete a pending exchange of about 1,500 acres in Pitkin and Eagle counties for about 670 acres of private land at the base of Mt. Sopris near Carbondale.
But Colorado Wild and Public Lands has an existing appeal with the Department of the Interior, claiming that the public land is undervalued.
Supporters of the exchange say the deal would bring more public access for recreation. Hawk Greenway, with Colorado Wild and Public Lands, said the appraisal of the land is skewed, and that the BLM is trading high quality land on a remote area of Mt. Sopris, for less acreage that would allow more recreation.
“Our contention is that the access doesn’t need to be vehicular access to the BLM land,” Greenway said. “In fact, some of our most favored and sought-after experiences here in Colorado are the remote and difficult to access places.”
Thursday’s ruling gives an additional six weeks for the Department of Interior to review the exchange.