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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The U.S. House has approved a bill to swap 370 acres of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area for 170 acres on the Lake Powell shoreline owned by a developer.
The bill would enable the landowner, Page One LLC, to consolidate its property while permitting the Park Service to better protect the view of Lake Powell from U.S. 89, said Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah.
Cannon introduced the bill and Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is a co-sponsor. Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, is sponsoring a similar bill in the Senate.
Page One would acquire property west of U.S. 89 in Arizona, and the Park Service will get a strip of lakefront property east of U.S. 89 and five miles south of Big Water, near Glen Canyon Dam.
"With this exchange we will help preserve the beautiful view of Lake Powell from the highway without restricting use of the lake by visitors," Cannon said.
He said the Kane County Planning and Zoning Commission, the Southern Utah Planning Advisory Council, the National Parks Conservation Association and the Glen Canyon community supported the exchange.
House Democrats endorsed the bill, but expressed concern that some congressionally mandated federal land trades shortchange taxpayers, The Salt Lake Tribune said.
"In many instances, it is not at all clear that taxpayers are receiving full value for the lands being traded away in their names," said Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis. "It's our hope that we only approve specific exchanges that truly serve the best interest of the American taxpayer. Fortunately, it appears we have such an exchange in this instance."
The deal requires a National Environmental Policy Act review that will finalize appraisal values.
Preliminary estimates by private appraisers put the value of the current government land at $277,500 while the private property's estimated market value is $836,000, the Tribune said.
Page One is under the general partnership of Christoph Henkel, director of Head Sports, co-chairman of the Los Angeles film production company Cineville Inc. and vice chairman of German household products company Henkels KgaA, according to a proxy statement from Clorox, which elected Henkel to its board of directors in 2000.
The real estate company has prepared materials soliciting investors for a resort property development near Lake Powell, the newspaper said.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)