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Land Exchange Bill Moves Forward In House

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The Wyoming House of Representatives passed the Grand Teton National Park land swap bill on general file Monday – the first action taken in the House after it was sent over from the Senate.  Teton County Representative Keith Gingery says the passage was fairly uneventful, with most of the legislators supportive of the measure. Gingery says the members of the House understand that the objective is to earn money for the benefit of the children and the education fund.  Consequently, there really is no down-side to exchanging the land for mineral properties that the feds hold in other parts of Wyoming.  Says Gingery: “Once you explain that to people, most people are very supportive of the bill.” Gingery says there are two more votes on the issue:  one today and again on Wednesday, but he adds it is looking very positive for the bill. Four parcels owned by the state within Grand Teton National Park were the subject of an agreement between Wyoming and the Interior Department by which each parcel would be acquired annually.  After the first two were closed, the feds no longer had the cash to complete the other two acquisitions. It was proposed that the final two parcels would be subject to a land exchange so that the state would derive income from the exchanged property, while the two parcels located near Kelly would continue to be preserved as part of the national park.

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