Through the land swap, the Wexners hope to acquire about 1,200 acres of Bureau of Land Management property on the flank of Mount Sopris outside Carbondale. The land would consolidate their Two Shoes Ranch holdings, creating about 5,600 acres of private property below the signature peak. They have offered to turn over to the BLM the 557-acre Sutey Ranch north of Carbondale and adjacent to the Red Hill Recreation Area, plus a 112-acre piece along Prince Creek Road near Carbondale that is used by mountain bikers and others to access the Crown, a popular recreation area. Finally, the BLM would receive $1.1 million to develop a management plan for the properties it acquires and for their long-term management.
PITKIN COUNTY REAL ESTATE — A deal that makes a proposed Carbondale-area land exchange palatable to Pitkin County won initial approval from county commissioners Wednesday by a 4-1 vote. Only Commissioner Michael Owsley refused to endorse the negotiated agreement between the county and wealthy landowners Leslie and Abigail Wexner, calling public lands “non-negotiable.” The agreement is separate from the proposed land swap but secures the county’s support for the trade, which is currently under consideration by the Bureau of Land Management. If commissioners approve the agreement on second reading, scheduled Jan. 8 after a public hearing, the county will forward an already-drafted letter to the BLM endorsing the exchange proposal.
By Janet Urquhart, December, 20 2012 AT
Wexner’s Two Shoes Ranch at base of Mt Sopris