A letter to the editor appearing in the Sopris Sun newspaper last week accused the Carbondale-based Wilderness Workshop of a slate of improprieties, including a blatant conflict of interest, regarding a controversial land trade completed last spring.

The executive director of Wilderness Workshop, as well as the president of the group’s board of directors and a long-time board member, all contend the letter and the points it makes are bunk.

The trade, between the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Leslie and Abigail Wexner — Ohio-based billionaire owners of L Brands, the parent company of Victoria’s Secret and Bath and Body Works — privatized 1,260 acres of public land on the north flank of Mount Sopris, which was folded into a surrounding 4,000-acre ranch the Wexners own.

In exchange, the public got the 557-acre Sutey Ranch north of Carbondale, which is adjacent to the popular Red Hill Recreation Area, and the 112-acre Haines Parcel along Prince Creek, which is popular with mountain bikers.

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