Biophysical assessment for indemnity selection of Federal Lands in Colorado

Open-File Report 2018-1167
Prepared in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management
By: , and 



Information on the biophysical features of Federal lands identified as suitable for transfer to the State of Colorado was requested by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This information is intended for use in conducting an Environmental Assessment prior to the transfer of ownership (conveyance) to the State. The Colorado State Land Board filed a selective application to obtain public land and mineral estate in lieu of lands to which the State of Colorado was entitled but did not receive at the time of statehood. To address this legal obligation, 339 parcels of Federal lands (organized into 89 indemnity units [IUs]), currently under management by the BLM, have been identified as suitable for transfer to the State. The IUs include 23,130 acres of surface and mineral estate and 6,150 acres of mineral estate only. The specific land parcels to be transferred to the State will be finalized after an Environmental Assessment and other evaluations are completed.

To provide the biophysical information necessary for conducting a future Environmental Assessment of the potential effects of the proposed land transfer, information on ecological communities, soil characteristics, and land use was summarized at three levels: (1) all of Colorado, (2) lands under the jurisdiction of the BLM, and (3) the 89 IUs. Information was also synthesized and summarized for 179 plant and animal species or subspecies of management concern to evaluate which species had the potential for occurrence on IUs. Datasets summarized for Colorado and for indemnity units and methodological details for all data summaries are provided in U.S. Geological Survey data releases available online at  and

Suggested Citation

Carr, N.B., Burris, L.E., and Manier, D.J., 2018, Biophysical assessment for indemnity selection of Federal lands in Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1167, 51 p.,

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Approach
  • Report Organization
  • Synthesis and Summaries
  • Summary of Key Findings
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Datasets and Methods
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Biophysical assessment for indemnity selection of Federal Lands in Colorado
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2018-1167
DOI 10.3133/ofr20181167
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Fort Collins Science Center
Description Report: vii, 51 p.; 2 Data Releases
Country United States
State Colorado
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details