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Disputed UW ranch land sale still not certain

Apr 3, 2014 - By Mead Gruver, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE (AP) -- The presidents of the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University plan to meet with members of their foundation boards in the next several days to discuss the future of a ranch jointly owned by the foundations, a university spokesman said Wednesday.

University of Wyoming spokesman Chad Baldwin said no decision has been made yet whether to proceed with selling the Y Cross Ranch between Cheyenne and Laramie.

Until recently, the fate of the ranch was tied up in court after Denver philanthropist Amy Davis filed a lawsuit to block plans to sell.

Her attorney, Steve Miller, said Davis still hopes the schools might yet decide not to sell the more than 50,000-acre working cattle ranch.

"Maybe the climate is such that they would make a renewed effort to implement the gift and work with the faculties," Miller said Wednesday.

The foundations are now free to sell, however, after the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled against Davis in March and on Tuesday denied her request for a rehearing.

Davis had donated her family's ranch to the UW Foundation and CSU Research Foundation in 1997.

Under the gift agreement, the foundations retained the right to sell after 14 years.

They began preparing to sell in 2011 with the goal of using the proceeds to pay for agriculture scholarships at the two schools.

In 2012, Davis sued, arguing the schools couldn't sell the Y Cross because they hadn't honored her intent for the Y Cross to be an outdoor classroom for agriculture students.

The universities suspended plans to auction off the Y Cross pending the resolution of the litigation.

The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that Davis lacked standing to sue.

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