Colorado Wild Public Lands’ (CWPL) mission is to protect the integrity, size and quality of our public lands in Colorado. We advocate for economical and environmentally sensible management of our public lands and accompanying assets. Our objective is to maintain natural values and the public interest by monitoring public land exchanges (LEXs) around the state. To this end, we track the federal land exchange process in Colorado to ensure that it is followed correctly and that the public is adequately heard and represented.
Land exchanges are swaps of tracts of land between governmental land management agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Forest Service (USFS), or between those agencies and private entities. There have been over 150 land exchanges in Colorado since 2000, yet these trades go largely unnoticed by the public and can lead to the consequential loss of public lands with little public involvement. Although there are statutes and regulations intended to protect the public interest in this process, land exchanges are by nature complicated, extend over long time periods, and are difficult for members of the public to gain a clear understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of the change of ownership.
To protect the integrity, size and quality of our Colorado public lands, especially in the land exchange process.
Founded by members of the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board, CWPL’s focus on LEXs stems from local experience in our home watershed. The first exchanges we addressed began in 2009, and we founded CWPL in 2014 after recognizing the need for an organized effort to increase public knowledge of and involvement in such an impactful process. 2023 is our 9th year of operations as a registered 501 (c) (3).