Aug 16, 2010 2:49 PM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

Rep. John Salazar accused of political favoritism

A proposed land swap in western Colorado that would benefit a Florida billionaire, who's also a donor to U.S. Rep. John Salazar, is opposed by hunters and fishermen who say the plan smells of political favoritism.

Salazar's spokesman says he's simply trying to help a constituent by proposing the swap of more than 1,800 acres of federally-managed land for nearly 1,000 acres owned by William Koch.

Outdoorsmen question the swap for a deep-pocketed Salazar donor who wants the land to connect two huge parcels he owns into a bigger, closed-to-the-public ranch.

The federally managed strip of land along Deep Creek in Gunnison County is a favorite route to get to Gunnison National Forest from the west.


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