WY ranch may house turbines, garbage, golf

The Wyoming Tribune-Eagle reports that a huge stretch of land west of Cheyenne that includes traces of the Lincoln Highway is being considered for a multitude of projects, from a wind farm to a landfill to a golf course.

The Belvoir Ranch has long included the paths of westward travel, from overland immigrants to fiber optic cable. Then in 2003, the City of Cheyenne bought the land which begins five miles west of town and stretches for 15 miles farther west, with I-80 as its northern boundary.

While some residents see the 18,000-acre purchase as a boondoggle, others see it as acquiring water rights and sites for a landfill, wind turbine farm and recreation. It is also a chance to preserve a microcosm of western cultural history.

Chuck Lanham of the Cheyenne Historic Preservation Board, the guide for a recent ranch tour, pointed out teepee rings at least 140 years old and other archeological features that have yet to be studied….

Ruts across the rolling, shortgrass prairie show the route of the Denver to Ft. Laramie stage line. Other ruts are thought to be Camp Carlin supply wagon tracks to frontier forts. There are vestiges, too, of the old Lincoln Highway, precursor to U.S. Highway 30 and Interstate 80….

Eventually, the early homesteads became part of the huge Warren Livestock Company holdings. F.E. Warren called the main ranch house his “cabin,” complete with tennis courts, pool and a professional horse racing track. Remains are barely visible today.

Because of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Atlas missiles were installed on what soon became known as the Belvoir Ranch. The above-ground launching facilities were deactivated in 1965, but the concrete structures can be seen south of I-80 at exit 348.

To learn more about the plans, including maps of the proposed developments or photos of the site (as reproduced here), visit http://www.BelvoirRanch.org or call (307) 637-6281.

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