Land Exchanges Tilt Toward the Rich
April 26, 2023
In 2017, the public lost 1,470 acres of wilderness-quality land at the base of Mount Sopris near Aspen, Colorado. For decades, people had hiked and hunted on the Sopris land, yet the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) handed it over to Leslie Wexner, former CEO of Victoria's Secret and other corporations, at his request. The so-called "equivalent terrain" he offered in return was no match for access to trails at the base of the 13,000-foot mountain.
This ill-considered trade reveals how land management agencies pander to wealthy interests, do not properly value public land, and restrict opport...