The City Council has tabled a proposed land swap with the U.S. Forest Service and the purchase of 18,000 acres of privately owned mountain land while a committee studies the costs and rec-reation potential of the land.

Council members tabled the action involving the purchase of land along Barton and Mill creeks and in North and Ward canyons. The city has considered buying the private land and exchanging high mountain land it owns with Forest Service land nearer to the city. The city and Forest Service own about 7,000 acres in the area."We have been actively pursuing the watershed proposal so we can control unwanted development and also look at the recreation potential," City Planner Reed Boothe said.

The land purchase and exchange could result in a greenbelt recreational area on the city's watershed area. A three member committee composed of the city's planning commission members will study the plan and bring the matter before the council again in April

Council Member Keith Barton said the land purchase has found favor with landowners. Two landowners have already asked the city to buy the land because they are required to pay taxes on the land they are not allowed to develop. Much of the privately owned land were part of homestead parcels granted to Bountiful's early residents.

City manager Tom Hardy said the city would likely purchase the land for between $100 and $500.