FROM THE ARCHIVE

DOI land swap program to be reviewed

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2002

The Department of Interior on Thursday said it was undertaking a full-scale review of all land exchanges in 12 Western states after a damaging report that called for a criminal investigation into appraisal practices.

The Appraisal Foundation, an independent group created by Congress, unleashed a 79-page report faulting the Bureau of Land Management. It found widespread internal strife.

The report comes on the heels of an Office of Special Counsel directive to Secretary Gale Norton. She has to look into allegations surrounding a land swap that internal critics say amounted to a $100 million giveaway to the state of Utah.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, the report linked below is a draft of one to be released officially today. Foundation executives said the final version is very similar.

The review was requested by BLM.

Get the Story:
BLM's Appraisal Processes Blistered (The Salt Lake Tribune 10/11)
Interior Dept. Reviews Land Exchanges (AP 10/11)

Get the Report:
Evaluation of the Appraisal Organization of the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (8/29)

Related Stories:
Norton land deal subject of dispute (10/01)
DOI approved $100M land 'giveaway' (8/19)