Congressman introduces a bill to transfer BLM ground to Hyde Park
Hyde Park City stands to gain about 80 acres of land from the Bureau of Land Management if a bill introduced Tuesday by Rep. Rob Bishop is approved.
“The BLM has land it can’t use, but the city can, and it actually makes sense,” Bishop said Tuesday.
The land in question is a rectangular parcel of ground about a half-mile long and a quarter-mile wide located just outside of city limits at the mouth of Hyde Park Canyon.
It is an island of federally held land completely surrounded by private property. The Department of the Interior deemed the parcel useless in 1985.
An Isolated Tract Planning Analysis that year said there was a good dirt road from Hyde Park and the land was used for unauthorized grazing, off-road vehicle use, camping and hunting.
While there was crucial winter range for mule deer at the time and normal range for elk, moose and chukars, the environmental impact was deemed minimal. The BLM did not see a development potential, so the agency decided to dispose of the property.
“Due to its location, size and lack of access, this parcel is difficult and uneconomic to manage as part of the public lands, and is not suitable for management by another federal department or agency,” the BLM stated in the 1985 document.
Thirty-two years later, Hyde Park had a vision for the property and approached the BLM, which still hasn’t disposed of the land.
According to Mayor Bob Christensen, the city would like to obtain the land and use it for an additional water source, to be surrounded by a park and trails that could tie into the Bonneville Shoreline Trails.
Because the property is just outside of city limits, the city will likely have to acquire a small amount of land from a private landowner.
“We wouldn’t want to create another island,” he said.
While it is difficult to nail down just when Hyde Park could expect to assume ownership of the property, Bishop said it is just a logical move and involves such a small parcel of land that he anticipates it will easily pass through the House and the Senate.