9/13/18 Update – Sand Mountain Exchange Status
Several months ago, Bob Brennan (the largest land owner within the Red Desert Reserve) made an offer to the Washington County Commissioners to settle the transfer of all his remaining in-holdings within the Reserve for less than 20% of the market value. In effect, Mr. Brennan’s offer is to donate over 80% of his land to the federal government in return for the purchase of less than 20%. The actual price of the purchase is contingent on market value and tax considerations.
The Washington County Commissioners agreed to accept the offer and move forward with the transaction. They are now in the process of determining payment amounts and considerations to complete the deal. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have also offered to contribute funds towards completion of the transaction.
The completion of the deal with Mr. Brennan will eliminate the proposed exchange of land within the Sand Mountain Recreation Area (SRMA, a.k.a. “Sand Hollow” , a.k.a. “Hurricane Sand Dunes”) from the table.
UPLA considers this deal as very beneficial to the OHV community, grazing rights holders, and other users of the land within the SRMA. We thank all those who have made the effort to come up with this solution, including Mr. Brennan, the Washington County Commission, BLM, USFWS, and Hurricane Mayor John Bramhall.
On another front, it has been reported that Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA) has initiated the process of exchanging their land (over 15,000 acres) within the SRMA for federal lands outside the SRMA. UPLA will continue to encourage and report any progress on this exchange.