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Deal Suggested To Secure Federal Payment

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Wyoming State Representative Keith Gingery has proposed a plan to Wyoming Senators John Barrasso and Mike Enzi to complete the purchase by the Federal Government of State School Lands in Grand Teton National Park. In 2010, former Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal negotiated a deal with the Interior Department for the federal government to purchase the remaining Wyoming school lands located in the Park. The Wyoming Legislature voted to affirm the deal and approve the sale of the four parcels of lands, providing a timeline for purchase of each parcel. The sale of the first two parcels has been consummated, but there are two remaining parcels. The Antelope Flats Parcel consists of 640 acres, and the Kelly Parcel is also 640 acres. On March 22nd, the Department of Interior notified the state that because of sequestration, the DOI would be withholding from the state five equal installments of monthly mineral revenue payments beginning last month and concluding at the end of July. Those five payments collectively total $53 million. Gingery says these are not truly “expenditures” of the federal government, but the Interior Department has decided to treat this revenue sharing program as expenditure. Gingery is proposing to exchange the Antelope Flats Parcel for payment of the $53-million in mineral revenue payments.  The land is valued at $50-million.

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