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New Plan Proposed To Sell Land In GTNP

Gingery

Efforts to complete the sale of the state’s four parcels in Grand Teton National Park in exchange for  $53-million in mineral severance payments from the federal government has taken a little different focus.  Wyoming State Representative Keith Gingery says cash no longer appears to be an option because of sequestration and other budget issues at the federal level.  Gingery says he does not understand the logic behind the federal government’s non-payment of the severance funds since it is a revenue sharing arrangement where the feds collect the mineral royalties from federal leases in Wyoming and are to keep half of them.  Now, Gingery says, the only viable option to consummate the sale of land in Grand Teton National Park is through a land exchange with the BLM.  Under that proposal, the BLM would transfer lands with mineral wealth to the State of Wyoming in exchange for the state school lands in the park. Any land exchange will have to be approved by the Wyoming Legislature.  Gingery says he remains optimistic about finding a solution for consummating the land deal with the federal government prior to the deadline for the sale at the end of this year. He points out that the state is required to use those parcels in the park for the benefit of the state’s schools, but the lands need to be protected because of their location in the national park.

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