Let the Bill Nye Avenue land management by the County Commission serve as an example to the supporters of the $14 million dollar Warren Livestock land purchase; the power of the county to remove public land status and turn it into private land. Neither the local press, or County Commission, have mentioned the sunset provision in the Warren Livestock land purchase is set for 50 years. After 50 years under the current land purchase agreement by the County, it could be subjected to residential and commercial development the same exact scenario that is being done today to the public land for the Bill Nye expansion. The aquifer water would once again face threats after 50 years expires and $14 million dollars wasted for those deeply concerned about the water.

In addition, there are temporary restrictions in the $14 million dollar land purchase agreement (posted publicly) that bans smoke, noise, motor vehicles, and residential/commercial development for 50 years. This greatly restricts the public/tourism use of the land for camping, and off-road vehicles. Under the land agreement surviving obligations, it appears everything transfers overs to the county as far as preexisting rights and access. By the way who will pay for the existing grazing leases on roughly 1,600 acres of leased land by the State and BLM included in the land purchase; that do not set to expire for years?

Therefore, the alleged $14 million dollar land purchase erroneously compared to the Louisiana Purchase and Alaska purchase, will not serve the people of Albany County for generations. Access to National Forest is not likely what the land will be used for as most residents and especially tourists will not hike miles of land to access the forest easily accessible from Happy Jack road exit off I-80. The handling of the Bill Nye public land by the Commission demonstrates what raising revenue may look like in the future. The actions by the County to forcefully gift formerly public land to adjacent landowners will subject them to increased property taxes. This will increase revenues for the county and satisfy its insatiable thirst to grow.

Peter Calderon


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