One of the nation’s wealthiest attorneys, Gerald Hosier, is suing another high-profile attorney, Walter Stuart, alleging he hired a landscaper to cut down an old-growth aspen grove on his property so the defendant could have a million-dollar view of Mount Sopris. Hosier owns a 36-acre undeveloped lot adjacent to Stuart’s property in Sopris Mountain Ranch in Old Snowmass between Basalt and Carbondale. The development, once the site of the Strang family’s cattle ranch, is located at the base of the nearly 13,000-foot peak. Hoosier is seeking at least $1M in damages, the amount he claims Stuart gained in property value after he cut down 39 aspen trees, some of which were 90 feet tall and up to 70 years old, the lawsuit says. In addition to the possible trespass and destruction of personal property issues, the Pitkin County land-use code requires several mitigation steps for the removal of trees with a 6-inch or larger diameter. Property owners must undergo a review from a zoning officer, and present a site plan that shows the existing development, improvements on the property and the number, type and size of the trees to be removed. A plan for tree replacement and/or revegetation is also required,” among other steps, according to a county overview on tree removal. In the City of Aspen, a cash payment for mature tree reduction is also required that goes to the benefit of the Parks fund.

Link to article by Chad Abraham Aug. 19, 2013 ADN

About the ranch: Originally owned by Bart and Mary Strang who ran the ranch as both a cow/calf operation as well as a boy’s camp. The property was purchased in 1982 by Mount Sopris Joint Ventures. At that time, the land was plotted into 41 lots between 35-50 acres each, with dedicated “open space” land for the enjoyment of all future Sopris Mountain Ranch owners. The long-range vision of the ranch was to protect as much open space as possible – it was a conservation plan ahead of its time, but would turn out to be centermost in making Sopris Mountain Ranch special and unique from all other land developments in the Roaring Fork Valley. More…

For properties for sale at the ranch, a beautiful slice of Rocky Mountain heaven just 20 minutes from Aspen, please contact Aspen broker Tim Estin 970.309.6163