Land Swap

A Wyoming man has won a U-S Supreme Court  decision over a dispute with the U-S Forest Service.  Marvin Brandt of Fox Park swapped his land for 83 acres of Medicine Bow Forest Service land in the 70’s, with the understanding that the land would be his if a railroad that used the land ever stopped running. 

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A bill that would set up a land swap with the federal government for state-owned lands inside Grand Teton National Park is still a ways from being resolved.  Senators are leery that the state may not get fair value for state trust lands inside the park. 

A bill that would allow the federal government to trade mineral rights and federal land for two parcels of state land inside Grand Teton National Park has passed the Wyoming Senate. 

The swap is needed after the federal government backed out of a previous deal to pay the state for the two parcels.  Laramie Senator Phil Nicholas added an amendment that the land would have to be mineral property with proven reserves, so that the swap is worthwhile for the state. 

The director of Wyoming's Water Development Commission says a proposed state purchase of 11,000
acres east of Laramie wouldn't fully protect the city's drinking water supply.
Director Mike Purcell also says normal residential development on the parcel probably wouldn't significantly pollute the city's groundwater.   Sen. Phil Nicholas, a Laramie Republican who chairs the Senate
Appropriations Committee, is pushing state acquisition of the land to prevent development and protect the aquifer. Former state Rep. Doug Samuelson, a friend and law client of Nicholas', owns the

The chairman of the Wyoming Legislature's Senate Appropriations Committee is advocating a deal in which the state would buy 11,000 acres from a client of his law firm.
Republican Sen. Phil Nicholas of Laramie is meanwhile keeping alive a proposal under which the client, Doug Samuelson, would acquire a 50,000-acre ranch between Laramie and Cheyenne. The Colorado State University Research Foundation and University of Wyoming Foundation jointly own the Y Cross Ranch.