The Bureau of Land Management has approved a land exchange between it and J.R. Simplot Company.
The swap will allow Simplot to expand its operations at the Don Plant west of Pocatello. BLM will get land in the Blackrock Canyon area near Inkom for recreational purposes.
“The lands the BLM is receiving provide outstanding recreational opportunities, while protecting crucial habitat for mule deer and other native species. This exchange also ensures that Simplot can continue to contribute to eastern Idaho’s economy,” said Casey Hammond, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management. “Working cooperatively with neighbors and stakeholders, the BLM continues to deliver on the President’s agenda to support jobs and the economy.”
“This exchange provides tremendous benefits to the local community and the people of Idaho, as well as wildlife and scenic values in the Chinese Peak-Blackrock Canyon area,” said BLM Deputy Director for Policy and Programs William Perry Pendley “We’ve secured permanent protection and access to lands tied into the popular trail system and enabled Simplot to improve its environmental footprint, both now and into the future.”
Simplot will receive 714 acres next to its current phosphate-processing plant. BLM will get 666 acres located in the Chinese Peak-Blackrock Canyon area.
BLM administrators said the acquisition of the land in Blackrock Canyon will provide crucial mule deer winter range and secure permanent public access with the Blackrock Canyon Recreation Management Zone.