Friday, July 28, 2006

Times of the Essence

The Little Hole issue continues to consist of negotiations and fact finding as we end near another week of meetings. There is still hope, yet SITLA would like to make a decision. We are trying to prevent this parcel from going to public auction. Unless we severly discredit the value of this parcel, which is possible, we really don’t stand much of a chance. I believe they will make the right decision if they are presented with the appropriate scenario. Although they have given us some directions, we are still throwing darts in the dark.

Today we meet with the Division (DWR). There is a deal on the table that has yet to be fully explored by either party. As I’ve stated earlier they, the Division, has yet to clarify this offer. As Kevin Carter has insinuated, our best opportunity lies with them.

In letters that we have obtained through a GRAMMA request it shows the intent to offer a wide variety of lands in exchange for the Little Hole parcel. Yesterday, in meetings with Kevin Carter, he stated that he responded to this letter and was rather specific with what they need. In his words, the Division failed to respond or failed to respond in an appropriate manner.

It is clear what Kevin Carters job is, to maximize revenues from properties they control. We feel that they can still do this, yet preserve this important parcel from development. This would involve the offer that is still out there where they would accept a comparable parcel/s in exchange for the Little Hole lands. The Division has properties of equal value that have yet to be put forth, but at this juncture appear willing to now throw into the mix.

Should the Division make such an offer and SITLA decides to accept it, then, for the most part everyone wins. That is everyone except the Casino owners and the few elite users who will benefit from this development. SITLA can then sell the exchanged parcel and meet their fiduciary responsibilities and intern preserves the Green River corridor from private development. Such a deal would benefit Trust Lands beneficiaries in two ways: one they benefit from the diverse recreational attributes this unique resource offers through its preservation. Two, they would also have an opportunity to cash out on the exchanged parcel. Although this organization focus centers around cash, how can you put a price on the value of this resource when it comes to the quality of the experience it offers.

Should the Division step up to the plate, I personally believe they will send a clear message to their constituents, a group who at this juncture is not very happy with their efforts when it comes to fisheries management. This attitude is a clear reflection in the states steady decline in license sales. They have a number of programs in place to market and promote Utah’s great fishing to dry and drive license sale, however for the money I think there are few options before them that would have the impact and send a very clear message to the anglers of their intentions should they consummate this deal and preserve this controversial parcel.

That is where we are as of today. By this afternoon we may no more. If the Division doesn’t want to play, then our only hope is to focus on the access and environmental issue that a development would face on this property. This is still a strong case, but far more risky, time consuming and spendie. Should it go this route, it get ugley and we really loose a potential win/win situation.

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