More from Capps:
Many (or perhaps most) owners of high country real estate never take advantage of this opportunity for the simple reason that it's not easy to build a house on the side of a mountain. In Upper Bear Creek, for example, on Chapman's land, it seems like you could only build a cabin if you packed the materials in on mules. Or if you brought them in by helicopter.
Which seem like extreme measures -- measures Chapman has already taken. In one case, in 1992, in the West Elk Wilderness Area near Gunnison, he paid a helicopter to airlift tons of supplies in to build a house.
That kind of thing can trigger a bit of a panic attack in wilderness lovers. Linda Miller was one of many who recoiled at the idea of houses up there in the West Elk.
"West Elk is just beautiful," she said. "It would have been a travesty."
Here's a terrific blog post that also serves as a nice primer on Chapman from High Country News.
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