The array of government properties is vast and includes all types ranging from historic battlegrounds to national wildlife refuges; from mountain tops with cell sites to rivers and lakes; from wetlands like the Everglades to vast expanses of remote Alaskan wilderness, the Grand Canyon, and the Mojave Desert; from natural and native monuments to thousands of miles of biking and hiking trails; and from marinas to tennis facilities and golf courses. All of these publicly held treasures are the responsibility of the Department of the Interior—and are often appraised through AVSO, the quiet fiduciaries, the doers that get it done fairly and equitably for the American public. Browse our project gallery for examples of places we've appraised: Fox Bay, Lake Iliamna, Alaska Photo Credit: Marjorie Bellringer, AVSO Caption Fox Bay, Lake Iliamna, Alaska AVSO's Alaska Regional Office inspects property in remote wilderness areas only accessible by boat or plane. The Native allotment inspected on this trip was in southwest Alaska on the north shore of Fox Bay on Lake Iliamna. At 80 miles long, 25 miles wide, and covering an area of 1,150 square miles, Lake Iliamna is the largest lake in Alaska. Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska Photo Credit: Stephen Myers, Unsplash.com Caption Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska AVSO assisted the National Park Service’s Alaska Region with acquisitions in Glacier Bay National Park and in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, both in southeast Alaska. Glacier Bay is part of the National Park System and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. AVSO's work contributes to the National Park System's total of over 2.5 million acres designated as wilderness area preserved in their natural state. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Valdez-Cordova Area, Alaska Photo Credit: Bryan Petrtyl, National Park Service Caption Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Valdez-Cordova Area, Alaska Kennecott Mine processing plant and community site is on the east side of the Kennicott Glacier Valley in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. The distant glacial ice is covered with upturned and windblown earth, giving it its “dirty” appearance. Copper ore discovered on the slopes to the northeast at the beginning of the 20th century was mined from 1911 to 1938, producing over four million tons of ore and one billion pounds of copper. The National Park Service acquired a larger portion of the town of Kennecott in 1998 and has incorporated the historic site into the national park established in 1980. Canyon de Chelly, Arizona Photo Credit: Hugh Bartlett, AVSO Caption Canyon de Chelly, Arizona In 2016, AVSO managed the appraisal process for the rental value of the 69-room Thunderbird Lodge at the iconic Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona. The appraisal assisted the National Park Service in a lease agreement with a Navajo hospitality organization. Cross F Ranch, Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management Caption Cross F Ranch, Aravaipa Canyon, Arizona AVSO facilitated the appraisal process supporting a late 2021 acquisition in southeastern Arizona. Following the acquisition, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) acquired over 2,831 acres of privately owned land northeast of the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness, known as the Cross F Ranch. The acquisition reconnects the public to over 30,000 acres of formerly inaccessible BLM-managed lands. Pacific Crest Trail, North of Los Angeles, California Photo Credit: Douglas Brennan, AVSO Caption Pacific Crest Trail, North of Los Angeles, California AVSO's numerous assignments along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail contribute to the National Park Service’s commitment to National Scenic Trails. The Pacific Crest Trail alone spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada, through California, Oregon, and Washington. Santa Rosa Wilderness, Riverside County, California Photo Credit: Jay Devoe, AVSO Caption Santa Rosa Wilderness, Riverside County, California AVSO projects include the provision of appraisals for the Bureau of Land Management’s Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) to facilitate natural resource protection in southern California. (Left) The Santa Rosa Wilderness desert floor is photographed against the backdrop of the San Jacinto Mountains. Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado Photo Credit: National Park Service Caption Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado In October 2022, the spectacular Great Sand Dunes National Park in south-central Colorado grew by 9,362 acres. The acquisition followed a transfer of land from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) to the National Park Service, one of AVSO's Interior clients. AVSO provides the appraisal and valuation services necessary for DOI to make such acquisitions. Did you know? Great Sand Dunes National Park is home to the tallest dunes in North American and is also a designated Dark Sky Park due to its pristine night skies and opportunities for stargazing. Shaw Reservoir, San Luis Valley, Colorado Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management Caption Shaw Reservoir, San Luis Valley, Colorado In 2020, AVSO participated in a complex assignment in San Luis Valley, Colorado supporting a multiparty acquisition effort. In 2022, the acquisition came to fruition as the Bureau of Land Management, San Luis Valley Water Conservancy District, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and The Conservation Fund completed the joint effort to acquire and manage the Shaw Reservoir, located in the headwaters of the South Fork of the Rio Grande. The acquisition and ongoing partnership provide increased reliability of water supply for San Luis Valley residents, additional water supply for wetlands and wildlife habitat, and increased recreational opportunities, such as fishing and boating. South Shale Ridge ACEC, Colorado Photo Credit: Bureau of Land Management Caption South Shale Ridge ACEC, Colorado In December 2022, the Bureau of Land Management acquired two parcels known as the Latham property at the South Shale Ridge Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) in the high desert country of western Colorado, just north of the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area. AVSO helps make such acquisitions possible by determining fair market value of the property—in this case, 1,600 acres of land and water rights. The acquisition will improve and secure public access to Little Book Cliffs, expand recreation opportunities for big game hunting, camping, hiking, and wild horse viewing, protect wildlife habitat, preserve historic sites, and help prevent wildfires. Fry-Conter House, Apalachicola, Florida Photo Credit: Steve Griffith, Appraiser Caption Fry-Conter House, Apalachicola, Florida From Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue to Auburn, New York, AVSO assists the National Park Service’s efforts to preserve historic buildings like the A.M.E. Zion Church at 49 Parker Street in Upstate New York, the “church home” of Harriet Tubman, the famed American abolitionist and leader in the “Underground Railroad.” AVSO's work assisted in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s acquisition of another historic property, the Fry-Conter House at 96 5th Street in Apalachicola, Florida. The stately Greek Revival-style Fry-Conter House (also known as the Hanserd-Fry House) previously housed the Apalachicola Museum of Art; it will become the office and visitor center for the St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge. St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida Photo Credit: Federal Highway Administration, Betsy Kellenberg, Public Domain Caption St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, Florida AVSO assignments assisting the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have included those in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in northwestern Florida, the Silvio O. Conte NWR in Vermont, the Waccamaw NWR and Carolina Sandhills NWR in South Carolina, the Upper Ouachita NWR and the Cat Island NWR in Louisiana, the Chickasaw NWR along the Mississippi River in western Tennessee, and the Bond Swamp NWR in Macon, Georgia, to name a few. 530 Auburn Avenue, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Atlanta, Georgia Photo Credit: Melanie Latham, AVSO Caption 530 Auburn Avenue, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue area was an integral part of the life of iconic civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. AVSO assisted the National Park Service with acquisitions in the historic Auburn Avenue area of Downtown Atlanta for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park. War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam Photo Credit: Hugh Bartlett, AVSO Caption War in the Pacific National Historical Park, Guam The first U.S. property to see the sunrise every day is the War in the Pacific National Historical Park on the U.S. territory of Guam. In 2021, AVSO managed the appraisal of five inholding parcels for the National Park Service on this remote Island in the western Pacific Ocean. Ewa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii Photo Credit: Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Caption Ewa Beach, Oahu, Hawaii AVSO played a role in the 2021 transfer of an 80-acre parcel of surplus federal property at the former NOAA Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach on O‘ahu to the Hawaiian Home Lands Trust. The transfer restores the land to the Native Hawaiian community and could provide homesteads to hundreds of families. The Great Crack, The Big Island, Hawaii Photo Credit: Hugh Bartlett, AVSO Caption The Great Crack, The Big Island, Hawaii In 2018, AVSO helped the National Park Service acquire 2,000 acres of oceanfront land known as "The Great Crack" to expand the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on the south coast of the Big Island of Hawai'i. Haleakalā National Park in Maui, Hawaii Photo Credit: Carolyn Sawyer, AVSO Caption Haleakalā National Park in Maui, Hawaii In early June 2022, AVSO was involved in a project for the National Park Service in Maui near Haleakalā National Park. The project was for either an acquisition of land for the park or a trail easement to connect a park trail from the top of the Haleakalā Crater down toward the ocean. Like many AVSO projects, this project considered multiple appraisal scenarios to accommodate flexibility for client bureau negotiations with the landowner. Kahuku-Pōhue Bay, The Big Island, Hawai'i Photo credit: National Park Service, S. Roper-Todd Caption Kahuku-Pōhue Bay, The Big Island, Hawai'i In July 2022, the National Park Service acquired ownership and stewardship of a 16,451-acre parcel known as the Kahuku-Pōhue parcel. The parcel is now part of the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, which will protect its unique natural and cultural resources from development. AVSO’s role in the project, as in many projects, was to determine the current market value of the parcel. Kahuku-Pōhue is home to numerous well-preserved and significant Hawaiian cultural sites and is also critical habitat for federally listed endangered Hawaiian species. Cougar Bay near Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Photo Credit: The Nature Conservancy Caption Cougar Bay near Lake Coeur d'Alene, Idaho AVSO assisted the Bureau of Land Management with an acquisition of two parcels of land totaling 88.51 acres at Cougar Bay in Idaho. Cougar Bay, a wilderness area of wetlands, lakeshore, and conifer forests, lies on the west side of Lake Coeur d’Alene. The acquisition at Cougar Bay aligns with the Biden-Harris administration’s “American the Beautiful” initiative which aims to conserve and restore public lands. The acquisition will protect the area from development, preserving the land for wildlife habitat and public enjoyment. Graham Creek Canyon, City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho Photo Credit: National Park Service Caption Graham Creek Canyon, City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho In November 2022, the National Park Service (NPS) announced the acquisition of approximately 105 acres of land adjacent to the boundary of City of Rocks National Reserve, known as the Graham Creek Canyon property. AVSO appraised the property for NPS in 2021. The property features impressive granite outcrops, such as Train Rock, stately aspen groves, portions of Graham Creek, and winter habitat for moose. The purchase established new recreational access for the public in southern Idaho. City of Rocks National Reserve, known for its unique, towering rock formations is a popular destination for climbing, snowshoeing, birding, backpacking, and hunting. Green River National Wildlife Refuge, Kentucky Photo Credit: Lee Andrews, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Caption Green River National Wildlife Refuge, Kentucky AVSO assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a February 2021 acquisition at the Green River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in western Kentucky. Following the acquisition, the Refuge grew by 437 acres of forested wetlands. Green River NWR was created in November 2019, and before the February acquisition, comprised a mere 10 acres! Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana Photo Credit: DOI.gov Caption Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana In April 2022, again in support of the Biden-Harris administration’s “American the Beautiful” initiative, AVSO played a part in the expansion of the Bayou Sauvage Urban National Wildlife Refuge in New Orleans, Louisiana through its involvement in the acquisition of the Little Pine Island tract. The acquisition added 2,500 acres of tidal marshes and hardwood forests to the Refuge. At nearly 30,000 acres, Bayou Sauvage is the nation’s second largest urban refuge and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland Photo Credit: National Park Service Caption Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, Maryland Properties comprising AVSO assignments are in some of our nation’s most hallowed battlefields and national military parks (NMPs), including Antietam National Battlefield Park in Maryland; Gettysburg NMP in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania; southwestern Tennessee’s Shiloh NMP; and Richmond NMP in Richmond, Virginia. AVSO's efforts assisted the National Park Service in preserving these historic properties. Building 125, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts Photo Credit: "MA Boston - Charlestown Navy Yard" byopenroads.com is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Caption Building 125, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts AVSO assisted in the market rent appraisal for a lease of the historic 1905 building at 110 Baxter Road, the southern end of Pier III, in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston. Glacier National Park, Northern Montana Photo Credit: Alexander Latham Caption Glacier National Park, Northern Montana Glacier National Park’s breathtakingly beautiful wilderness area was carved by prehistoric ice rivers in the Rocky Mountains of northern Montana. AVSO's work in Glacier National Park has served both the Intermountain Region of the National Park Service in proposed acquisitions to the existing 1,583 square miles of park lands as well as U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s revenue-sharing program with Glacier County. Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, west of Santa Fe, New Mexico Photo Credit: Ben Lindsay, AVSO Caption Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument, west of Santa Fe, New Mexico AVSO’s work in the southwestern United States includes an assignment at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks, established in 2001 as a national monument of 4,645 acres, administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Its scenic cone-shaped “tent” rock formations, also called “hoodoos,” were created from volcanic eruptions seven million years ago. The hard boulder caps shown in the photo protect the softer pumice stone that lies underneath the caps from the elements. 101 South Third Street, Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Photo Credit: National Park Service Caption 101 South Third Street, Downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania In 2010, AVSO's assignments included appraisals for a land exchange that enabled the development of the 118,000-square foot Museum of the American Revolution in downtown Philadelphia. United Flight 93, Somerset County, Pennsylvania Photo Credit: National Park Service Caption United Flight 93, Somerset County, Pennsylvania The memorial was constructed on the site of United Flight 93’s crash amidst the bucolic fields of western Pennsylvania. The site memorializes the acts of heroism by the passengers and crew of Flight 93 to prevent this plane from reaching its intended target in Washington, D.C. as part of the attacks on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. AVSO assisted the National Park Service in its efforts to acquire hundreds of acres in the Shanksville, Pennsylvania area to honor the passengers and crew of Flight 93 who perished in the crash. Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Texas Photo Credit: Steve Sinclair, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Caption Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge, Texas AVSO was involved in a July 2021 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service acquisition that resulted in the expansion of the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The acquisition involved two separate transactions—both were complicated and involved multiple large parcels. Expansion of the Refuge will protect endangered ocelots and other coastal wildlife. San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, Texas Photo Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Caption San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, Texas AVSO assisted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a December 2021 acquisition at the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. Following the acquisition, the Refuge grew by 4,628 acres of forested wetland benefitting resident and migratory wildlife. The newly acquired property, known as the McNeill-Peach Creek Unit, is the largest contiguous old-growth forest tract left in the Columbia Bottomlands yet to be conserved. The acquisition supports the Biden-Harris administration's "America the Beautiful" initiative. The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah Photo Credit: Alexander Latham Caption The Narrows, Zion National Park, Utah AVSO assignments include work in southwestern Utah’s Zion National Park. The Narrows, on the North Fork of the Virgin River, is the narrowest section of Zion Canyon. The gorge has walls a thousand feet tall and is one of the premier hikes in the park. The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia Photo Credit: National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Caption The Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia AVSO has completed assignments for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in southern Virginia and the St. Vincent National Wildlife Refuge in Apalachicola, Florida. Together these natural havens encompass over 124,500 acres of forested wetlands that serve as critical habitat for a wide variety of birds, animals, and plants. Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington Photo Credit: Glen Cole, AVSO Caption Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Washington AVSO has worked on projects for the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, a vast preserve of wooded areas, marshlands, and grasslands in southwestern Washington. Guided hikes and vehicular tours of the 5,300-acre refuge offer rare opportunities for viewing wildlife, like America’s majestic bald eagles. Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Washington Photo Credit: Rebecca Dixon, AVSO Caption Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Washington This photo was taken off the Columbia River Gorge, downriver from a property inspection that AVSO did at the Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, accessible from the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wisconsin Photo Credit: National Park Service Caption St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, accessible from the Ice Age National Scenic Trail, Wisconsin The year 2018 marked the celebration of 50 years of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and National Trails System Act. AVSO's work in support of the National Park Service’s Trails System ranged from the Ice Age National Scenic Trail in Wisconsin to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail on public land in New Mexico managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Campbell County, Wyoming Photo Credit: Rebecca Dixon, AVSO Caption Campbell County, Wyoming AVSO assisted the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in a determination of the market rental value for this two-acre well pad site and road on federal land managed by the BLM in Campbell County, approximately 25 miles north of the town of Gillette in northeastern Wyoming. Marton Ranch, Wyoming Photo Credit: Ben Lindsay, AVSO Caption Marton Ranch, Wyoming In June 2022, the BLM acquired over 35,000 acres of private land belonging to the Marton Ranch near Casper, Wyoming. The acquisition is the largest land purchase that the BLM has undertaken in Wyoming, creating a 118-square mile contiguous block of public land and improving public access to the North Platte River. The proposed acquisition required AVSO to facilitate the appraisal process and provide a credible appraisal to its client agency, the BLM.