WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation lawmakers have approved the tribe's planned purchase of a large ranch in south-central Colorado for $23 million.

Tribal officials say a Navajo Nation Council committee's approval Tuesday was the final approval needed to implement a purchase contract for the 25.5-square mile (66-sq. kilometer) Wolf Springs Ranch in Huerfano and Custer counties.

Tribal President Russell Begaye requested the committee's action.

Begaye said in a statement that the purchase provides potential for development of parts of the ranch and for conservation of areas where a mountain sacred to the Navajo people can be viewed.

Begaye spokesman Mihio Manus says the committee's approval begins due-diligence periods for the tribe and the seller before the transaction takes place.

The purchase includes over 230 head of cattle and over 300 head of buffalo.