…so you won’t be able to see this.

BILL KOCH is building a 420-acre town on what had been a large meadow in the basin of the spectacular Ragged Mountains.

The town is permitted to have 50 buildings, 120,000 gallons of underground water storage, and – it is said – an operating railroad train.

This private western village has been permitted by Gunnison County and by the State of Colorado and it is perfectly OK.

WHAT IS NOT OK IS Mr. Koch’s attempt to get the United States Congress to trade to him three square miles of our public land to ensure that we, the public, will never be able to see his private Western village.

Mr. Koch’s proposed land exchange (LEX) would not just take three square miles of high-elevation riparian and open land, but it would also close the best existing public access into 40 square miles of the Ragged Mountain Basin. It would also give Mr. Koch total control of a fine elk herd.

Few places are as beautiful as the Ragged Mountain basin. Few places have an many trails leading to other beautiful places like the Marble Country and the land around Crested Butte. There is a reason Mr. Koch wants to turn the Ragged Mountain Basin into a near-private estate.

They are the same reasons we think the existing access into the Ragged Mountain basin’s 40 square miles of high elevation land, its lakes, its wildlife, and its mountain passes into other high elevation areas should be kept public.

If you agree, please read on. We have laid it all out here: a history of this long-running dispute, the maps, the many news stories, and the pro and con opinions, the endorsements and the anti-endorsements.

Finally, once you have satisfied yourself one way or the other, we have listed the decision makers. First and foremost, we have listed the relevant Congressmen. But we have also listed the federal land agencies that have let this land remain unsigned and secret, and therefore vulnerable to the kind of privatization effort that is underway now. Had the Bureau of Land Management and especially the U.S. Forest Service put up signs telling the public that spectacular access was available, we would not be in this mess now.

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2 Responses to

  1. SHERRION TAYLOR says:

    HEY, I HAVE A GREAT IDEA. LET’S RENAME PAONIA AND CALL IT
    “BEARVILLE”. THIS WHOLE ARRANGEMENT IS DIGUSTING. HOW MUCH
    LAND DOES MR. KOCH NEED TO SATISFY HIS LUST FOR CONTROL OF THE
    WEST???? LAND EXCHANGE IS A LOOSE LOOSE SITUATION FOR THE
    REAL PEOPLE. WHAT IS THE BLM THINKING? NOT ABOUT THE PUBLIC
    PEOPLE WHO ARE SUPPOSED TO BE USING THE ROADS, COUNTY ROAD 2
    TO BE SPECIFIC.

  2. Charlotte Fox says:

    I am STRONGLY against Bill Koch’s land exchange plans. It is not only selfish, it is unconstitutional!

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