An article in the April 6th edition of the Buffalo Bulletin indicates that Sheridan College has been named the buyer of the Spear-O-Wigwam Dude Ranch in the northern Johnson County area of the Big Horn Mountains.
The article states that, according to Matt Johnston, an associate broker at Ranch Marketing Associates, the college is “'under contract to buy the ranch. They close May 1st.'” Johnston goes on to tell the Bulletin that the college “'applied for an educational permit. I think they plan to staff it with culinary and equine people and probably use it for a public dude ranch as a way to build up those talents, especially in culinary and hospitality and they are pressing that for their summer school.'”
Sheridan College Vice President for Administration, Cheryl Heath, issued a written response to the article and Johnston's assumptions about how the college, if the purchase goes through, would use the ranch.
She states, “It is our practice and policy to not publicly comment on real estate transactions until they are complete. As you might imagine, the addition of a location such as Spear-O-Wigwam would extend and reinforce our existing academic curriculum and extra-curricular offerings in areas such as Agriculture, Art, Astronomy, Biology, Construction Technology, Electrical, Geology, Green Technologies and Natural Resources and Ranchland Management.”
Heath goes on to write, “Our College vision includes 'contributing to the cultural life of our region by leveraging the beauty, culture and history of our area' and we continue to pursue opportunities to add to our diverse set of outdoor learning experiences.”
The Buffalo Bulletin did say that both Johnston and Clark McClung, the District Ranger at the Tongue Ranger District, confirmed that Sheridan College has applied for permits to operate an education facility at the ranch. The Bulletin says that McClung states, "when we met with [the college] they hadn't really formalized how they were going to utilize [the permit]."
Neither Heath nor College President, Dr. Paul Young, were available for audio comment to Sheridan Media, as both are out of town at meetings.