Pitkin County land swap talk reset for noon Tuesday
July 20, 2009
ASPEN – Pitkin County commissioners and the county’s Open Space and Trails Board will meet at noon Tuesday to discuss a proposed land swap involving the Sutey Ranch in Garfield County and public land at the base of Mount Sopris in Pitkin County.
The discussion, originally scheduled at 10 a.m., has been rescheduled for noon to 1 p.m. in the county’s Plaza One building, next to the courthouse in Aspen.
Commissioners have been asked to support the trade of 1,268 acres of BLM land for the 513-acre Sutey Ranch, located north of the Red Hill recreation area outside of Carbondale, but a staff memo from County Attorney John Ely recommends commissioners reject the deal.
Billionaire retailer Leslie Wexner is looking to fold the BLM property into his existing land holdings on the north flank of Mount Sopris and has offered up the Sutey Ranch as land that would become public in the swap. He purchased the ranch to facilitate the deal; his representatives, Western Lands Group, are seeking the county’s support before they pursue Congressional approval of the trade.
Ely, in his memo, notes no management plan has been drafted for the Sutey property and that the amount of public land to be relinquished in Pitkin County with the trade is not likely to be replaced.