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CSU, UW foundations not identifying buyer or disclosing sale price of Y Cross Ranch

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CHEYENNE, Wyoming — The University of Wyoming Foundation and Colorado State University Research Foundation on Monday declined to reveal the sale price and buyer of a Wyoming ranch they jointly owned, saying they're keeping the information confidential at the buyer's request.

The foundations closed on the sale of the Y Cross Ranch on Wednesday. The ranch had gone on the market in June with an asking price of $25 million.

The Y Cross sprawls across some 80 square miles of mostly undeveloped high country between Cheyenne and Laramie. In announcing the sale Friday, UW officials said in a news release that the proceeds would enable a new endowment for agriculture education in excess of $10 million.

Assuming the foundations would split their proceeds 50-50, the release suggested they got at least 80 percent of their asking price.

Details were elusive Monday, however. The UW Foundation always asks donors if they want their identities publicly revealed and did so here even though the transaction wasn't a gift, UW Foundation President Ben Blalock said when contacted Monday by The Associated Press.

"We asked if they wanted their name revealed, and they do not. Nor do they want the sales price revealed. So we are honoring their request," Blalock said.

University of Wyoming spokesman Chad Baldwin referred questions about the sale price and buyer to Blalock. Colorado State University spokesman Mike Hooker also declined comment but forwarded an email message from CSURF President and CEO Kathleen Henry that her foundation also was honoring the buyer's request not to discuss price or the buyer's identity.

The Y Cross previously headed for sale in 2012. But the foundations suspended plans for a sealed-bid auction after the woman who donated the property to them in 1997 sued.

Denver philanthropist Amy Davis said the universities over the years had neglected to use the ranch as a field classroom for agriculture education as she intended. University officials countered that the Y Cross wasn't a good teaching site and that selling the ranch could honor the intent of her gift by funding scholarships for agriculture students.

Davis, 86, died less than two months after losing before the Wyoming Supreme Court in 2014.

Her will carried an undisclosed, large financial incentive for the universities to continue using the ranch as a location to teach agriculture students. Negotiations between attorneys for her estate and the foundations over the next year failed to produce an agreement, however.

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