Since 1993, the state of Colorado and some valley groups have looked for money to purchase the ranch, which Taylor has been intensively logging (HCN, 6/9/97). The state expects a completed appraisal this month.
"We are disappointed that not all the property is still available," said Tom Kenyon, Colorado's assistant director of state parks. But he said the two-thirds remaining should still contain "significant natural resources' and sell at a more reasonable price. The parcel sold did not include one of the state's 54 "fourteeners," 14,069-foot Culebra Peak.
Taylor initially asked $30 million for the ranch's full 77,0000 acres but dropped his price to $20 million because of growing controversy. Since 1960, the property has been the center of an environmental and cultural dispute involving Mexican land grant claims. This month, a 37-year-old lawsuit based on those claims is expected to be heard in local courts. - Peter McBride