Your Land Exchange Watchdog

Protecting the integrity, size and quality of our Colorado public lands,
especially in the land exchange process

What Are Public Lands?

Lands owned and managed by public entities including the US Forest Service and Burea of Land Management.

What Is A Land Exchange?

Land exchanges are swaps of tracts of land between government agencies, or between government agencies and private entities. Since 2000 there have been over 150 land exchanges in Colorado alone.

The Problem

Agencies are supposed to make sure that the values of the lands are equal or better for the public.

That doesn't always happen
That's when we step in

Keep It Open, Keep It Ours

Colorado Wild Public Lands is a niche organization with a broad perspective. Founded in 2014, COWPL includes 6 board members, 1 part-time contract staff, and over 150 member-volunteers.

The Proposals

Private entities' proposals push private agendas and outside of the federal planning process. Strategic proponents take years to prepare their submissions, while the public has just 30-45 days to respond.

What's At Stake

Proposals can pit user groups against each other. Wildlands lose to developed recreation. Corridors connecting larger landscapes become fragmented and public access is frequently lost.

Land Exchange Experts

We know the process, the paperwork, the tricks, and how to mobilize people. We are differentiated by our technical expertise with over 100 years of experience with public lands management.


Land exchanges have been withdrawn or revised to provide more benefits to the public. We have obtained withheld information for proposals and represent the public interest in proposed NEPA and FOIA rule changes.

What We Do

Buffalo Horn Land Exchange Update

Buffalo Horn Land Exchange Update. Read the protest to the BLM's decision that was filed by attorneys Hogan Lovells on behalf of COWPL.

Celebrate Public Lands Day on May 15

Enter a 30-second video for the Public Lands Contest, or attend a bird watching event in El Jebel. For details email