Forest Service seeks comment on Aspen land sale | AspenTimes.com

Forest Service seeks comment on Aspen land sale

Staff report
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on a plan to sell about one acre of land at its administrative property in Aspen and use it to rebuild the visitor center.

The Forest Service is proposing to sell the northwest corner of its property, located at the corner of Eighth and Smuggler streets. Authority from Congress allows the agency to keep the proceeds in the forest and invest in administrative facility redevelopment projects.

“The Aspen Ranger Station is in poor condition and does not provide the type of Visitor Information Center that I think the City of Aspen deserves,” Aspen-Sopris District Ranger Scott Snelson said. “The sale of this unneeded portion of our property in Aspen has the potential to fund a development project that would greatly improve the administrative facilities in Aspen, and provide better public service.

“Additionally, the potential development that this sale would pay for would decrease our deferred maintenance on this site by about $1.5 million dollars and make an incredible increase in our energy efficiency,” Snelson added.

Details about the proposed sale can be found at http://www.fs.usda.gov/projects/whiteriver/landmanagement/projects.

The Forest Service is seeking comments from the public about the environmental effects that may result from selling the parcel and removing it from federal government hands. Comments were also solicited in December 2011 but the Forest Service had to reopen an “official” comment period to comply with a court ruling on the public involvement process on some projects. Individuals and organizations that submitted comments in the earlier period are asked to re-submit comments for this “official” period.

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Comments can be emailed to wrnf_scoping_comments@fs.fed.us. They can be mailed White River National Forest, Kevin Warner, c/o Tom McClure, acting director of physical resources, 120 Midland Ave., Suite 140, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.

Comments must be received by Aug. 11.