Steamboat Springs Wes Adams, owner of the Motherwell Ranch, has acquired the neighboring Wyman Elk Ranch for $8 million.
The 5,911-acre ranch had been in the Wyman family for more than 80 years. Lou Wyman grew up on the ranch and raised his family there. Now, his aspirations lay outside of ranching, said Penny Fletcher, one of the brokers who listed the property. Fletcher and Troy Brookshire, both from Colorado Group Realty Inc., co-listed the ranch.
Fletcher said Wyman plans to open a history museum in Craig. Proceeds from the sale of the ranch will help make the museum possible.
"Lou had a dream to go on to another area," Fletcher said. "That has been a dream of his for many years."
Wyman also maintained a museum inside one of the barns on the Wyman Ranch. Fletcher said Wyman has been a collector of historical pieces for some time. He owns many pieces of antique agricultural and ranch equipment, as well as historic items relevant to Routt County's past.
Fletcher said the sale of the ranch to Adams "was a natural fit."
Adams "is going to improve the natural resources that are there, with the rivers and the meadows and the wildlife," Fletcher said.
Adams is a longtime Routt County landowner who resides in Las Vegas. He could not be reached for comment. Wyman did not return phone calls.
The ranch is about 17 miles southwest of Hayden on Routt County Road 29. It is approximately 45 minutes from Steamboat Springs.
A mile stretch of the Williams Fork River runs through the property, which varies in elevation from 6,700 feet at the river to 9,100 feet at its boundary line with the National Forest.
There are two sets of buildings on the property. The main ranch includes a five-bedroom house, as well as other buildings. There is also a smaller three-bedroom house on the property that was used as the hunting headquarters. Fletcher said a hunting lodge that was built on the ranch in the 1930s is particularly interesting.
"It's filled with memories," Fletcher said.
Live water and proximity to the National Forest as well as the Yampa Valley Regional Airport made the ranch an ideal property.
The ranch includes senior water rights and natural gas, which serves the property. Elk, deer, mountain lions and eagles are prevalent in the area.
The Motherwell Ranch sits alongside the Wyman Ranch at the base of the Beaver Flat Tops.
Last spring, hundreds of deer on and in the vicinity of both ranches had to be killed by the Colorado Division of Wildlife, after two deer in Adams' Motherwell captive elk facility tested positive for chronic wasting disease. It was the first time chronic wasting disease had been discovered west of the Continental Divide.
Todd Malmsbury, DOW chief spokesman, said the deer were enclosed within the elk facility when fences were put up in 2001.
Deer in the vicinity had to be killed and tested as a precaution to prevent further spreading of CWD, Malmsbury said. Live animals cannot be tested.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture wanted to test the elk on Adams' ranch. However, since an elk from his facility had never tested positive for CWD, Adams would not allow the Agriculture Department to kill any animals from his herd for testing.
The deal would have cost Adams a significant amount of money, said Jim Miller, the Agriculture Department's policy director.
"We would have preferred to test them," Miller said.
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