The proposed Forest Service-Snowbasin land swap shortchanges wildlife habitat and will open up the Ogden Valley to further development, a state wildlife analyst says.

"Speaking from a wildlife perspective, I don't think the trade is a good thing . . . and I don't think the public realizes what it's trading off," said George Wilson, a resource analyst for the Division of Wildlife Resources.The trade calls for the Forest Service to deed 1,320 acres of prime wildlife habitat in the Snowbasin ski resort area to the Sun Valley Co., which plans to develop a ski lodge, condominiums and a golf course.

In exchange, the Forest Service will receive a parcel of land at Port Ramp at Pineview Reservoir and a parcel northeast of Causey Reservoir.

"Both these pieces of land are for sportsmen access and don't mitigate the lost wildlife habitat," said Wilson.

He said wildlife most affected by the loss of habitat will be moose, deer, forest grouse and elk.

The wildlife division will present written comments to the Forest Service prior to the Wednesday deadline, said Wilson.

Glenn Casamassa, Ogden Ranger District recreation forester, said he has received about 30 written comments on the proposed swap so far, plus numerous telephone calls.

A meeting to hear additional public comments on the proposed land swap is planned for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Morgan County Courthouse, he said.

Casamassa said Wilson has a valid point. "He's right. We're not trading lands of like values . . . the trade is based on monetary values and for land on a prioritized list the Forest Service wants to acquire," he said.

Casamassa said the wildlife mitigation question is one of the things the Forest Service will have to answer.

Wilson said there are other questions.

`You have to consider the secondary impacts that will change the character of the Ogden Valley. Do we want the consequences of what that will happen when a lot of people move in to take advantage of the Snowbasin development?" he asked.