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Teton County seeks to assign “omitted lands”

Snake River omitted lands-jax
US Dept. of Interior

JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI/KIDK) - In 2004, the Bureau of Land Management issued a Record of Decision (ROD) under the 1999 Snake River Resource Management Plan, to determine and manifest appropriate paths for remaining public lands along the Snake and Gros Ventre River Corridors. The idea was to transition the lands away from BLM administration, while ensuring the land remain in public ownership and available for recreation, public access, open space, and wildlife habitat.

The parcels involve so-called omitted lands, that were left out of official US land surveys in the 1800's. The land surveys ended at "meander lines" established at the outer banks of the Snake River. Many of the parcels reverted to adjacent landowners after litigation in the 1970's and 80's. But several parcels were not titled and were left under BLM management and in public domain.

On Wednesday, Teton County, Wyoming released a Request for Qualifications for consultant assistance in determining and pursuing those objectives. The consultant will make recommendations on a parcel-by-parcel basis on behalf of Teton County.

Under the ROD, lands may be transferred from BLM to other public agencies. But, disposal by sale, exchange, or recreation and public purpose if those actions serve an important objective and have public benefit, according to the county.

If transfer is not a viable option, cooperative management agreements will be pursued to allow other public agencies or entities to manage public uses on the parcels. Any sale, exchange, or transfer of public land will include use of conservation easements to prohibit development and preserve scenic values, wildlife habitat, and open space.

The county is accepting qualifications until Feb. 28, 2020, and expects to award a contract March 17.

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