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Family loses ranch after resort plans rejected

By Associated Press
Published On: Mar 12 2013 11:07:11 AM MDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2013 06:03:06 PM MDT
Bitterroot Resort supporters challenge Forest Service over special use rejection
MISSOULA, Mont. -

The Missoula County sheriff has turned the deed of a family ranch envisioned as the base of a ski resort over to Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.
    
Met Life foreclosed on a $23 million mortgage on the 3,000-acre ranch in 2009 and then bought the ranch at a sheriff's auction in February 2012.
    
Owner Tom Maclay had a one-year deadline to redeem the loan from Met Life. Sheriff Carl Ibsen signed a sheriff's deed over to Met Life Agricultural Investments on Feb. 27.
    
Maclay wanted to lease 11,000 acres of public land in the Lolo National Forest for the resort and use his family's ranch for the base area, including housing.
    
The U.S. Forest Service twice rejected Maclay's plans.