The chairman of the Wyoming Legislature's Senate Appropriations Committee is advocating a deal in which the state would buy 11,000 acres from a client of his law firm.
Republican Sen. Phil Nicholas of Laramie is meanwhile keeping alive a proposal under which the client, Doug Samuelson, would acquire a 50,000-acre ranch between Laramie and Cheyenne. The Colorado State University Research Foundation and University of Wyoming Foundation jointly own the Y Cross Ranch.
Nicholas says Wyoming should buy 11,000 acres that Samuelson's Warren Livestock LLC, owns east of Laramie to establish a state park and protect the Laramie aquifer. Nicholas says he would not profit from the deal.
Samuelson's property near Laramie also has featured in a proposed buyout or land swap through which Samuelson would acquire the Y Cross.