Windstar sale is out of bounds
Editor’s note: The following letter was originally sent to Pitkin County Open Space & Trails.
It has come to my attention that Rocky Mountain Institute is yet again trying to profit from its obligation of stewardship of the Windstar land.
Please let me set some things straight. Even this intention is in violation of the terms of the deal by which Rocky Mountain Instittute came to be resident on that land.
Rocky Mountain Institute accepted money from Great Outdoors Colorado, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and a wide array of other donors to purchase a half ownership share of the Windstar land on condition that it take that share and together with the Windstar Foundation put 100 percent of the ownership of the land into a land conservancy established for the purpose of placing a conservation easement on the land to keep it forever wild, and publicly accessible.
We made representations to Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO), Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Lazy O homeowners, and for that matter to Pitkin County that it would be so, and as part of that we had Pitkin County accept a conservation easement on the land. The sole intention was that the lions share of the land be kept wild or in agricultural uses, but that all of it be publicly accessible, subject only to the use of the main building as Rocky Mountain Institute/ Windstar Foundation offices, and even that was to be available for tours during office hours.
Despite any representations that Marty Pickett and/or Amory might now be making, both were absolutely party to these representations, made to GOCO, Pitkin County, the neighbors, other donors.
There is written into the documents governing the parties’ relationship that in the event that either Rocky Mountain Institute or Windstar Foundation is unable to meet their obligations to take care of the land, ownership will pass to the remaining capable party. In the event that neither is able, ownership shall pass to Pitkin County, to keep the land as publicly available open space.
Under NO circumstance was it envisioned that either part could sell their ownership in the land. This was prohibited under the deal that was signed with Pitkin County.
I was thus stunned to hear that Pitkin County might consider permitting a private sale. The land was paid for with money raised for the purpose of becoming open space. Pitkin County has an ownership stake in that status.
Just as when Pickett and the other overpaid administrators tried to build a Walmart-sized private market development in the Valley to raise enough money to pad their pockets, this is an attempt to defraud the original donors, and the people of Pitkin County.
I urge you to put a stop to this. It is a violation of the spirit and the letter of every aspect of the deal that we did.
Please feel free to contact me if I might be of any service in resolving this matter.”