On September 6, 2017, the Albany County Commissioners signed a purchase agreement to buy approximately 5000 acres east of town from several holding companies owned by the former Warren Land and Livestock Company (now Doug Samuelson). The acreage connects the eastern edge of Laramie to the Medicine Bow National Forest and would provide excellent outdoor recreation opportunities as well as aquifer protection (the proposed purchase covers about 13% of the aquifer protection area). The purchase price is $14 million – about $2500/acre – and the county has a year to raise the money (currently the county has no funds available for this kind of project). City Land Contract DRAFT
The county commissioners appointed a “supercommittee” comprised of local leaders to manage the fundraising effort. The supercommittee is chaired by State Senator Chris Rothfuss and includes State Representative Dan Furphy, City Councilor Bryan Shuster, UW Trustee Kermit Brown, County Commissioner Terri Jones, Laramie Rivers Conservation District director Tony Hoch, and former State Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kite. Other community members can participate on subcommittees focused on aquifer protection/wildlife/recreation, economic development, and communications. The Wyoming Community Foundation will act as the fiscal agent for contributions toward the purchase, thereby making these contributions potentially tax-deductible for the donor.
At their December 6th meeting, the supercommittee decided to develop a website to facilitate public input (location to be announced).