An event 26 years in the making has now taken place, The Ray Land Exchange. The exchange took place in Prescott, AZ. BLM land managers and officials from ASARCO signed the final deal on May 22nd. The exchange consisted of a swap of BLM managed land for a section of ASARCO controlled land. During the exchange, the BLM gave up 9,339 acres of public land adjacent to ASARCO’s Ray Mine Complex and Copper Butte properties for mine expansion. Subsequently, ASARCO transferred control of 7,298 acres in Pinal and Mohave Counties through a general land deed. A move that joined together checkerboard land and allows for better public land access. In addition to the land, ASARCO also paid $15,000,000. Federal law requires that the land exchanged must be of equal value.

“The BLM is pleased to complete the Ray Land Exchange,” said BLM Arizona State Director Ray Suazo. “This land exchange balances the public need for hunting and recreation access, the mining company’s need to continue responsible mineral development and Arizona’s need for continued economic viability.”

26 Years of Delays

The National Environmental Policy Act process delayed the exchange for 10 years. Frivolous lawsuits and litigation also tied up the exchange for a number of years. NEPA took effect on January 1, 1970. NEPA’s main purpose is to protect the environment and people from environmental disasters like the Santa Barbara oil spill. The Trump Administration streamlined the NEPA review process under Executive Order 13807 on

This certainly seems like a good exchange for both sides. What are your thoughts on The Ray Land Exchange? Let us know in the comments.

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