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U.S. Ignored Appraisers In Land Deal With Utah: BLM Experts Called Swap A $100 Million Giveaway

Date: August 19, 2002
Author: Michael Grunwald
QUOTE: The Bush administration recently agreed to a massive land swap with Utah even though the federal government's own experts had warned that the deal amounted to a $100 million giveaway by U.S. taxpayers...

ABSTRACT: The Bush administration went ahead with a land swap agreement with Utah despite warnings from appraisers. The deal gave Utah 135,000 acres of federal land in exchange for 108,000 acres of state parcels. Although the federal Bureau of Land Management valued both lands at approximately $35 million, BLM’s Utah office has concluded that that the federal land was worth $97 to $117 million more than the state parcels. Critics, including many within the Bureau, charge that political favoritism is behind the deals.

--- Emily Beck

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