Developer Chapman Reclaims TDX Land

Conservation easements in jeopardy

Bear Creek, near Telluride

Bear Creek, near Telluride     Photo: wordcat57/Flickr

Controversial real-estate buyer Tom Chapman has reclaimed a dozen parcels of Colorado land that were slated for protection from development, according to a press release from his company, TDX. In 2006, Chapman sold a collection of properties in Colorado wilderness areas to developer Mark Young for $1 million. Young agreed to finance the sale with tax breaks collected by protectecting the properties from development. He later defaulted on two payments to Chapman, who sued and offered to resell the land to mine owner Bill Koch. In a 2011 letter to Koch, Chapman wrote that neither the federal government or people concerned with preserving the land would want to see him retake the properties from Young. "It’s probably a fair bet to say I’m the last person in the world the government and conservationists would like to see retake possession of these wilderness lands," he wrote. Notably, Chapman's settlement with Young includes only 12 pieces of land, meaning Young has likely retained seven of the 19 parcels in the 2006 deal.

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