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January 16, 2013
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife seeking comment on Piceance land swap

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MEEKER, Colorado - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public comments on a draft environmental assessment regarding a proposed land exchange in the Piceance State Wildlife Area.

Comments are due Feb. 9.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is proposing to exchange the 910-acre Square S State Wildlife Area unit of the Piceance parcel with its water rights, for Exxon Mobil's three land parcels with water rights; a total of 1,191 acres of land.

Because the Piceance Parcel was acquired by CPW in 1956 with Wildlife Restoration grant funds from the Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency must grant its approval for a sale or trade.

The proposed swap would increase the amount of quality riparian habitat, big game habitat, and winter grazing habitat, and provide hunting access to adjacent BLM land in the White River basin. It would also aid Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the management of public lands in the Piceance Basin and White River drainage where energy development is not expected in the foreseeable future.

The Draft Environmental Assessment analyzes the effects of moving forward with the swap or leaving the ownership as is.

A copy of the Draft EA is available online by clicking on the title of the document at index.html.

Those without internet access may request copies by calling the Services' Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program at 303-236-4414.

Comments will be accepted Feb. 9 and should be sent to: Chief, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, P.O. Box 25486, Denver, CO, 80225.

Article Topics: Water

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The Post Independent Updated Jan 16, 2013 01:15AM Published Jan 16, 2013 01:13AM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.