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Eagle Valley Land Exchange Closes

by Bergen Tjossem

The Colorado State Land Board, U.S. Forest Service, Upper Eagle Regional Water Authority (UERWA) and Eagle County today (5/9) finalized closing on the Eagle Valley Land Exchange. While the exchange agreement was approved by the entities last fall, the closing marks the formal completion of the complex, multi-year effort.  Additional partners in the deal included the Town of Avon, the Nottingham family, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District (ERWSD) and the Eagle Valley Land Trust.  Western Land Group, a private land exchange facilitator, helped the parties complete the exchange.

The project includes six properties representing approximately 1,560 acres of open space in Avon and Edwards:

  • The 478-acre West Avon Parcel, now owned by the Town of Avon and managed as open space by the Town of Avon;
  • Approximately 86 acres of the Avon Village parcel, north of I-70 near Post Boulevard, now owned and managed as open space by the Town of Avon;
  • The 168-acre Cordillera L, now managed as Eagle County Open Space.
  • The 640-acre Colorado State Land Board property north of Berry Creek, which has been  added to the White River National Forest;
  • 183 acres of private land on the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness boundary, which has been  added to the White River National Forest; and,
  • 5 acres of UERWA property up Beard Creek which has been added to the White River National Forest.

In addition, several smaller water tank properties on National Forest lands were conveyed to UERWA and ERWSD, and a small parcel was conveyed to the Colorado State Land Board near Minturn.

All of the parcels involved in the exchange were appraised under the direction of the Forest Service to complete the equal value exchange.  The majority of the funding to acquire the properties that became part of the White River National Forest, Berry Creek and the Nottingham property next to the Eagle’s Nest Wilderness, came from Eagle County’s Open Space Fund.  In addition, the Town of Avon contributed $1 million and additional funds were provided by UERWA, ERWSD, and the Forest Service to complete the complex transaction.  The funds received by the Colorado State Land Board  will benefit K-12 public education throughout Colorado.

The Eagle Valley Land Trust will hold conservation easements on the open space parcels obtained through the exchange. A map of the parcels is available here.

A community gathering to celebrate completion of the Eagle Valley Land Exchange is planned for later in the year. For more information, contact Director of Communications and Devleopment, Jason Denhart at 970-748-7654.

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