I'd like to thank everyone who has participated in the development of our land exchange proposal. We've received tons of good input and sound advice, and we've made some significant changes to our proposal based on the comments we received.
First, and most important, we heard that our neighbors and others were not excited about a parallel trail for non-motorized use near the Ragged Mountain Trail. Due to those concerns we went back to the users and organizations who had requested it and we have all agreed to remove that trail from the exchange proposal. Instead, we will pursue construction of 23 miles of new trail, already anticipated in the forest plan, near Kebler Pass Road. This will complete an important segment of the Crested Butte to Carbondale trail and will result in fewer impacts to neighboring landowners and the environment, while still adding a fantastic new recreational amenity to the North Fork Valley.
In addition, we heard concerns that improving access to the Jumbo Mountain area might encourage oil and gas development there. I assure you that is not our intent, and we have modified our proposal to ensure that the new access can only be used for recreational use by the public and administrative use by the BLM. Access for mineral exploration or development will be prohibited. We have made several other minor revisions to the plan, based on public comments which focus on improving public access to public lands and increasing recreational opportunities in the exchange area.
There continues to be a misinformation campaign out there by a vocal minority. They have attempted to link the land exchange to the gas well controversy (nothing could be further from the truth) and have made statements about access issues and land values that just flat aren't true. We invite everyone to visit our website at www.bearranchlandexchange.com to view current and accurate information on the exchange.
So, what's next? We'll continue to meet with our neighbors, stakeholders, and anyone who is interested, to share our proposal and ask for input. And when we believe that we have the best possible land exchange proposal with the most possible community support we'll ask our elected representatives in Congress to introduce legislation to implement the exchange. With the unanimous support of the county commissioners in both Delta and Gunnison counties, we have made great progress in terms of refining the proposal and obtaining community support. We will continue to work with the community and our neighbors through the summer months to answer questions, address concerns, and perhaps further modify our proposal.
Bear Ranch LLC
President, 7X Cattle Company LLCblog comments powered by Disqus