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Big Land Swap Considered for the Vail Valley

The controversial development of a key piece of land in the Vail Valley is once again in the news after Battle Mountain Development announced a possible land exchange with the U.S. Forest Service. Located east of U.S. Highway 24 between Interstate 70 and Red Cliff, and not far from Vail and Beaver Creek Mountain, Battle Mountain has been owned by a private equity firm out of Philadelphia since 2004, and development of the area into houses and a possible ski area has been hotly contested. The latest idea is to exchange the land known as Battle Mountain for land on the other side of the town of Minturn, Meadow Mountain.

It's only in the idea stage at the moment, but according to the Vail Daily, Battle Mountain Development plans to submit an exchange proposal to the Forest Service within the next few months.

While the Forest Service doesn't have to consider the land exchange, Tim McGuire with Battle Mountain Development believes the exchange could be good for the community. While the company plans on developing Battle Mountain if they don't get the swap, a development at Meadow Mountain would be closer to I-70, and "preserve valuable, undisturbed interconnected elk and lynx habitat on Battle Mountain."

If the swap is approved, Battle Mountain Development would build on 1,274 acres of the 4,700 Meadow Mountain parcel, leaving open approximately 3,402 acres of open space, trails, and the existing trailhead. Fewer homes would be built on the Meadow Mountain site than on the Battle Mountain site.

And while Vail Resorts says they are not interested in the Meadows Mountain property, Minturn council members did note that part of the parcel borders the Beaver Creek ski area.

We'll keep you updated on any developments.

· Big land swap idea floated in Minturn [Vail Daily]
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