BLM seeks public input on Sutey-Two Shoes swap | PostIndependent.com

BLM seeks public input on Sutey-Two Shoes swap

John Colson
Post Independent Staff


SILT — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is soliciting comments from the

public about the proposed Sutey-Two Shoes land exchange (now called the

Sutey Ranch Land Exchange) involving land at the base of Mount Sopris near

Carbondale.

The agency on Monday released its environmental assessment of the proposal,

asking for public comments to be submitted through May 29.

The environmental assessment and details about the potential land exchange

are available at http://on.doi.gov/17pFIkj.

The preliminary EA includes a detailed analysis of the environmental and

economic aspects of this proposal, according to a statement from the BLM

office.

Under the proposal, which at one time drew stiff opposition from Pitkin

County, the BLM would deed slightly more than 1,200 acres of public land at

the base of Mount Sopris, in Pitkin County, to Leslie and Abigail Wexner,

owners of the Two Shoes Ranch that largely surrounds the public lands being

considered for trade.

Leslie Wexner, an Ohio businessman, is the billionaire CEO and chairman of

the board of the Limited Brands corporation. He also owns a home in the

Aspen area.

Although the Pitkin County commissioners at one time opposed the swap, in

late December 2012 the board agreed to endorse the trade in return for an

agreement from the Wexners to place conservation easements on a portion of

the 1,200 acres that is identified as important winter habitat for elk and

bighorn sheep, and to relinquish their development rights for 10 luxury

homes, and other considerations.

In return for the 1,200 acres, the BLM would get the 557-acre Sutey Ranch in

Garfield County, which is adjacent to the Red Hill Special Recreation Area,

a popular hiking and mountain biking spot.

The BLM also would get title to 112 acres of land along Prince Creek Road,

also in Pitkin County, that is another popular area for mountain bikers, as

well as for access to BLM roads and trails on The Crown.

The trade also involves 201 acres of public lands on Horse Mountain, which

the BLM says has little public access, which would be deeded to Wexner and

then added to the Horse Mountain Habitat LLC.

The swap would consolidate the Wexners’ Two Shoes Ranch holdings, creating

about 5,600 acres of private property below the signature peak.

The BLM, in addition to the land involved in the swap, would receive $1.1

million to develop a management plan for the properties it acquires and for

their long-term management.

Comments can be e-mailed to BLM_CO_SI_CRVFO_Webmail@blm.gov or mailed to

BLM, 2300 River Frontage Road, Silt, CO 81652, Attn: Sutey Ranch Land

Exchange.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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