Forest Service Initiates Scoping for Proposed Land Exchange

Contact(s): Kimberlee Phillips 970-874-6717, Dylan Peters 970-874-6625

The Forest Service is seeking public comment on a land exchange proposal where the Crested Butte Land Trust would contribute 613 acres of land in the Fossil Ridge area northeast of Gunnison, CO, in exchange for 120 acres of National Forest land that encompasses part of Long Lake, north of Crested Butte. The Land Trust would also contribute a 15-acre parcel on Copley Lake, west of Crested Butte.

The Fossil Ridge parcel was owned by Butch and Judy Clark who transferred the land in 2010 to the Trust for Public Land to hold for future conveyance to the Forest Service. The Forest Service acquired 332 acres of the original 945-acre parcel in 2013 in an exchange with Homestake Mining Company. This exchange yielded $1.5 million to the Gunnison Valley Housing Foundation, the ultimate recipient of the Clark’s land donation.

The Land Trust is coordinating with adjacent landowners and the public in planning for long-term stewardship of the Long Lake parcel. The Land Trust along with the Forest Service will be hosting visits to this parcel on August 10th and 24th.

An appraisal has been completed with the private lands valued at $3,015,000 and the National Forest lands valued at $3,000,000. The exchange will be balanced with cash as provided by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a federal program that provides funds for the acquisition of land and water for the benefit of all Americans.

Comments should be sent in the next 30 days to Forest Supervisor, GMUG NF, 2250 South Main St, Delta, CO 81416, or by email:

Forest Supervisor Scott Armentrout said “It is great to have an opportunity to improve access and provide benefits to the public and the Housing Authority. I appreciate the work of the Crested Butte Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land in partnering on this exchange.”