The policy, according to the draft language, is intended to guide the county when someone proposes an exchange that privatizes public lands, but it is not intended to override existing federal laws and regulation. The desire for a policy came on the heels of a lengthy negotiation between the county and billionaire landowners Leslie and Abigail Wexner over a proposed land swap before the Wexners in May withdrew their request for county support of the deal.

ASPEN PITKIN COUNTY REAL ESTATE — Several specialists in the world of federal land exchanges will weigh in next week on a proposed policy to govern such swaps in Pitkin County.The Pitkin County Open Space and Trails board of trustees will host an Oct. 5 panel discussion on The Aspen Institute campus, billed as a joint meeting with county commissioners.The agenda will begin with an address by Janine Blaeloch, founder and director of Western Lands Project, a watchdog group that monitors land exchanges between the federal government and private parties.After her remarks, a panel discussion will engage Blaeloch; Mark Weston, Denver-based appraiser with Hunsperger and Weston; Ed Marston, former editor of High Country News, and Adam Poe, president of Western Lands Group.
By Janet Urquhart, Sept. 28, 2010 Aspen Times

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