In a surprise development, Zachary Taylor, owner of the controversial 121-square-mile Taylor Ranch in southern Colorado's San Luis Valley, sold one-third of the property to an undisclosed buyer in early August.
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
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