OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Summit County to acquire largest open space in its history for $55 million

May 17, 2024, 9:00 PM

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased ...

The 910 Cattle Ranch, a sprawling property in the western part of Summit County, will be purchased after grant funding is made available in 2025.(Summit County)

(Summit County)

PARK CITY — The 910 Cattle Ranch could have been developed into 116 luxury houses. The lush valley could have been clear cut to make room for a golf course, winding canyon roads, and even a small ski resort. After over a decade of negotiation, however, Summit County has received the funding it needed to purchase the land outright for $55 million.

This is the largest open space purchase in county history, and it will connect a 52,000-acre corridor of conservation easements, state parks, National Forest and other protected land.

“It’s the most impactful thing I will probably ever do in my career,” Jess Kirby said. She’s the Summit County lands and natural resources director and played a role in the acquisition.

Twenty years ago, the sprawling 8,588-acre property in the western part of the county — one of the last contiguous single-owner mountain ranches in the Snyderville Basin — was in the beginning stages of large-scale development.

Its owner, David Bernolfo, had commissioned aerial surveys, costing tens of thousands of dollars, to map the rugged terrain. He had employed lawyers and real estate consultants to put together a land use and development rights application, aiming to find the maximum price the land could be sold to someone interested in building it out.

Read the full story and more from Collin Leonard on KSL.com.

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Summit County to acquire largest open space in its history for $55 million