“This would create a meaningful new public land on Mount Sopris and also create a corridor that solves problems of the mountaineer,” open space director Dale Will said yesterday.

ASPEN REAL ESTATE – Pitkin County open space officials have proposed alternative terms for a land-swap a billionaire midvalley landowner.The proposal, approved unanimously by the county’s open space and trails board on Thursday, would trade 1,055 acres of privately owned ranchland for 1,068 acres of public land surrounding the base and on the flanks of Mount Sopris. The land that would be opened to the public includes areas that would facilitate easier backcountry recreational access to Sopris through what would be called the Potato Bill Creek Open Space, a 931-acre area.The swap was originally brought to the county in January of last year by representatives for Leslie Wexner, founder of Limited Brands, which is the parent company to Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works.  He was listed 430th on the 2009 Forbes list of the world’s billionaires.Wexner proposed to trade his 520-acre Sutey Ranch, in Garfield County, for 1,268 acres of federal Bureau of Land Management property in Pitkin County, which lies next to his estate (known as Two Shoes Ranch). Both the Sutey Ranch and the BLM land would be protected by conservation easements which would prohibit future development.
By Andrew Travers, Jan. 8, 2010 Aspen Daily News

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