ASPEN REAL ESTATE— Citing philosophical qualms with the privatization of public lands and doubts that a proposed land swap involving parcels near Carbondale would be a fair trade, the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board voted unanimously Thursday to recommend that county commissioners reject the deal.“I think the private interests here far outweigh the public benefits,” said board member Anne Rickenbaugh, echoing thoughts expressed by several of her colleagues regarding the proposed swap of 1,268 acres of Bureau of Land Management property on the north flank of Mount Sopris for the 513-acre Sutey Ranch, located north of the Red Hill recreation area. Billionaire retailer Leslie Wexner purchased the Sutey Ranch for $6.5 million with the trade in mind, hoping to add the BLM acreage to his adjacent Two Shoes Ranch landholdings. The BLM land is in Pitkin County, though the Sutey Ranch is in Garfield County.
By Janet Urquhart, Oct 16, 2009 Aspen Times
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