Thursday, July 13, 2017

Navajo Nation may buy Yavapai Ranch for $60M

By Sue Tone

Negotiations between the owners of Yavapai Ranch and the Navajo Nation are underway for the sale of 17,544 acres in the western area of Yavapai Ranch, which encompasses more than 100,000 acres. The property lies 13 miles south of Seligman where the unpaved portion of Williamson Valley Road cuts through the ranch about 40 miles north of Prescott. The area’s appraisal is nearly $60 million. Ranch manager Fred Ruskin said he is in negotiations all the time with different people about various pieces of the ranch. This is just one of those “kicking the tires on the west side.” Potential buyers might like the fact that part of the property has been approved by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors for a planned area development. Other reasons might be the Ponderosa pine that could be sold for timber, or the mineral rights that go with the sale of the land, or even the 20 wells that exist outside the boundaries of the Arizona’s Active Management Areas regulations that govern water use. Yavapai Ranch is the largest parcel of checkerboard holdings within the boundaries of the Prescott National Forest. So a buyer could exchange the parcels for national forest land elsewhere in the state, Ruskin said. This could benefit PNF by filling in sections to make large public lands. He hopes as much land as possible can be preserved for public use. “The west side is considered by Game and Fish to be one of the great antelope lands,” Ruskin said. “It is highly desired by Game and Fish for hunting. They have nudged me not to develop the land.”...more

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