Aspen Public Radio
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
By Elizabeth Stewart-Severy
Hikers and hunters will soon be able to access public land acquired in a controversial land exchange earlier this year.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is scheduled to start construction this week of a small parking area at the entrance to Sutey Ranch outside of Carbondale. While the land has been public since March, it’s only been accessible on foot through the Red Hill recreation area. The parking lot is along County Road 112.
Sutey Ranch was part of a land exchange with billionaire Leslie Wexner. The BLM traded about 1,200 acres of difficult to access land near the base of Mt. Sopris for 670 acres of once-private property. This led to a protracted legal battle over the value of the land.
The federal agency is slated to start work on a management plan for the area this winter; until that is established, no motorized vehicles or bikes are allowed.