Nature Noted

Notes on a changing Nature

Location: Bellville, Texas, United States

I never would have predicted this one

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Want a ranch of your own?

New West has an article on a New Mexico rancher who faces a dilemma. B.W. Cox wants to keep his 30,000 acre Montosa ranch around for future generations, but the immediate future has no interest in ranching. Cox has placed the entire ranch under a conservation easement, and the provisions allow for selling five to seven 640 acre homesites. But there's a catch...
B.W.’s land was appraised at millions of dollars. With the easement, the appraisal is nearly half (still in the millions), but the land stays as it is, in perpetuity, B.W.’s children have a lesser inheritance tax burden, and five very lucky people will get to live here, in some of the most striking country in the world, next door to an elk preserve and the national forest, under the hawks, among the coyotes and cinnamon bears and in the shade of the ponderosas.
The homes are carefully mapped into the landscape, to preserve the open space, the views, archeological sites, elk habitat, and B.W.’s grazing land. His cows will continue to run on the open spaces, and you can’t fence any of your lot except the ten-acre homesite. The rest remains open. Houses need to be modest. There are night sky restrictions. The covenants are carefully written.
But for the whole thing to work, they’ve got to sell the lots. The partners don’t stand to make a dime, after you factor in the legal costs, the real estate agent’s commission and so forth, but for B.W.’s kids, and for the land, they need buyers.

Takers, anyone? Check out the entire article at New West.


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