- Associated Press - Saturday, June 30, 2018

PARK CITY, Utah (AP) - A conservation organization is trying to raise $6 million to preserve about 828,000 square feet (77,000 square meters) of land for cattle and cranes and prevent it from being developed like so much other land in the ski town of Park City.

Property owners Kerry and Mel Armstrong could get $16 million for Snow Ranch Pastures, but they have agreed to drop the price for Utah Open Lands and have the property placed in a conservation easement, the Deseret News reported .

The easement means the land will never be developed or subdivided and will continue its ranching and farming traditions.

“We think the opportunity to preserve this kind of property is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Wendy Fisher, executive director of Utah Open Lands.

Fisher has known the Armstrongs for more than 25 years.

The organization has been working with the family for the last couple of years to figure out how to best protect the land, she said.

The Armstrongs have been thinking about what kind of legacy they want to leave behind as they’ve been getting older, Fisher said.

The land is home to sandhill cranes which are frequently spotted in the pastures.

A herd of elk can also be seen on the Armstrong property in the spring when late snowstorms move across the mountains.

The land has been home to victory gardens and a dairy operation and has been an agricultural resource since Park City’s mining days.

Utah Open Lands has protected more than 94 square miles (243 square kilometers) of land throughout the state with easement.

The organization has until Dec. 15 to raise the money.

If they can’t meet that goal Fisher said donations will be returned.


Information from: Deseret News, http://www.deseretnews.com

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