AG confident of open-space agreement |

AG confident of open-space agreement

Randy Wyrick

No timetable has been set for the land deal, but said Salazar said he’s optimistic an agreement can be reached.

“I’m hopeful there’s a solution that will put this land into a conservation trust,” Salazar said. “It would be a crown jewel in helping preserve Colorado’s open space and wildlife habitat.”

Salazar, the Democratic incumbent Salazar facing Republican challenger Mary Jo Albright in the race for Colorado attorney general this November, was in Edwards Tuesday to kick off a statewide campaign swing.

While the land deal might not rival the Middle East peace accords in complexity, Salazar and everyone else involved still have their work cut out for them. The tract would include the embattled 600-acre Colorado State Land Board parcel, along with the Webster/Scudder parcel that surrounds much of it.

The land board parcel has been the focal point of a legislative battle over ownership between part-time Beaver Creek resident Robert Brotman, who wants to develop it, and local residents, who want it to remain open.

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The land owned by two families, the Websters and the Scudders, cannot be put into a conservation trust – or anything else – without the consent of both families, according to a deal to which both families agreed.

Dick Scudder said Salazar has been very helpful in moving the negotiations along.

“He wants to get it done, and the Scudder family wants to put it into a conservation easement,” Scudder said Wednesday. “We’re unanimous about that.”

Scudder said dealing with the Webster family isn’t as cut and dried.

“He’s also dealing with the Webster family, which is a bit more problematic,” said Scudder. “Their approval will be slow in coming, if at all.

“One cannot act without the other.”

Lisa Webster could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Salazar, though, said he remains upbeat about the prospects of an agreement.

“I am optimistic that over time, an agreement will be reached,” said Salazar.

Salazar’s Eagle County stop kicked off a 20-county campaign swing. He said he’ll be in all 64 of Colorado’s counties in the next month.

“My belief is that every county and every community is just as important as every other,” Salazar said.

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