Ranch owner wants airstrip | SteamboatToday.com

Ranch owner wants airstrip

The owner of a large ranch in extreme northern Routt County has applied for a permit to build a private landing strip.

If approved, few people are likely to become aware of aircraft traffic at Chicken Creek Ranch along Routt County Road 82.

Chicken Creek flows south of Middle Mountain toward its confluence with Slater Creek just a few miles south of the Wyoming state line. The proposed airstrip is west of Slater Park and about 20 miles north of Hayden. It is at an elevation of about 8,000 feet. Chicken Creek Ranch LLC principal Thomas Arthur owns several thousand acres of land, according to documents on file at the Routt County Regional Planning Department.

Arthur has applied for a permit for the landing strip with the FAA and is seeking a special-use permit from the county.

Arthur intends to use the landing strip for his own aircraft, and there are no plans for commercial or charter flights. The turf landing strip would be 70 feet wide and a modest 1,200 feet long. It would be built on about 5 acres. Plans also call for a hangar in the form of a pole barn.

Peaks of note in the vicinity include Bush Mountain, 9,869 feet, and Columbus Mountain, 10,204 feet.

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A neighbor, Michael Hen-ricksen, of Brush Mountain Land, has written a letter of support for the airstrip, noting that Arthur has agreed to register it as a facility that would be available for medical evacuations.

The Routt County Planning Commission is expected to hear the request for the special-use permit Oct. 20. The address of record for Chicken Creek Ranch LLC is in Tampa, Fla.

— To reach Tom Ross call 871-4205 or e-mail tross@steamboatpilot.com