Billionaire Seeks To Bridge Land Gap By Making Swap

November 16, 2012 10:52 PM

Billionaire Seeks To Bridge Land Gap By Making Swap
" PAONIA, Colo. (CBS4)- A billionaire ranch owner in Western Colorado is upping the ante in his bid to make a swap for some strategically-placed federal land.

Bill Koch owns the Bear Ranch which overlooks an Old Western town with about 50 buildings that sits outside Paonia located northeast of Delta.

The land swap is causing controversy that is gaining national attention.

Koch’s ranch is divided in the middle by a strip of federal land with a public road running through it.

“He doesn’t want the public looking at his western village. He has said himself that he wants his privacy,” said land swap opponent Douglas Gill.

Koch has hired Tom Glass to work a land swap to connect those parcels of land.

When asked why it is so important for Koch to have access to that land, Glass replied, “Primarily because of trespassing and poaching.”

Koch helped get a bill introduced in Congress to swap the land. That’s when some locals cried foul.

Paonia resident Ed Marston wrote a letter to a newspaper "

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