On March 31, 2009 the Grizzly Land Exchange on the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota was completed. This exchange consolidated land ownership where Homestake Mining Company’s property is surrounded by Federal lands and Federal lands are surrounded by Homestake’s.
The Federal government acquired three parcels totaling 227 acres from Homestake in Lawrence and Pennington counties. Two of the parcels are located north of U.S. Highway 85 near O’Neil Pass in the Riflepit Canyon area. The third parcel is located west of Blackhawk between Buck Mountain and Green Mountain. Acquisition of these parcels will help ensure existing dispersed recreation uses such as hunting and snowmobiling can continue into the future and preclude potential development of these parcels which would increase recreation and traffic related conflicts and potential encroachments onto National Forest lands.
Homestake acquired numerous small, isolated National Forest tracts totaling 450 acres near its Grizzly Gulch tailings dam and the Richmond Hill Mine. These tracts consolidate Homestake’s land holdings at these reclamation sites. The lands acquired by Homestake did not have legal public access and the Forest Service was unable to effectively manage these lands. As part of the exchange, Homestake and the Forest Service agreed to include two Small Tracts Act (STA) parcels in the area of the exchange that have been long sought by the neighboring landowners. Homestake is subsequently selling these parcels to the adjacent landowners.
Western Land Group was engaged by Homestake to facilitate processing and completion of the land exchange. This exchange helped to address the complex landownership pattern on the Black Hills National Forest and increases management efficiencies for the Forest Service and Homestake.