Land exchanges are a valuable tool for land management agencies to acquire important resource lands while conveying public lands that can better serve the public in private ownership.

The Federal land exchange process is designed to ensure that the exchange is in the public interest and the land values are equal.


Federal Laws that guide land exchanges:

  • General Exchange Act of 1922
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA)
  • Federal Land Exchange Facilitation Act of 1988 (FLEFA)
  • Numerous other environmental and land management laws


Generally, the steps involve:

  • Formal Exchange Proposal (submitted by exchange proponent/accepted by USFS for further analysis)
  • Feasibility analysis by the Forest Service // Preliminary valuation of lands
  • Public engagement and USFS evaluation
  • Exchange processing
  • Closing