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Old 07-21-2008, 12:27 PM   #31
MeterPig
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Inane,
Again, please go back reread both of my posts. But to underline my main points:
1. *if* you choose to go *looking** for private roads to drive down, come prepared for trouble. This is America-everyone has a gun. Or at least everyone who wants one.


2. A gun is **not** intended to start trouble on someone else's property. If I did find myself on someone's property, and they made me aware of it with a loaded gun-truth or not, I am leaving. If they shoot at me for no good reason, I am leaving. If I have nowhere to go, I am fighting back. Now, none of this should happen in the regular world-but sometimes it does. If you have questions on how to find cover or concealment on or around a motorcycle, there are courses for such a thing.

3. When did I say that everyone in the woods shoots on sight? I said that **some** folks (urban or suburban) consider themselves the final say on matters. If that surprises you, ask around. I *assume* that people are going to defend themselves with deadly force. That thought usually keeps you alive.

4. So if someone takes the time to put up an illegal sign, more than likely they might be willing to break the law in other ways should they get away with it. Do the math.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Inane Cathode
Im saying that assuming everyone that owns land out in the woods shoots on sight comes off to me at least the same way saying everyone that lives out in the woods plays banjos and has a still way out 'yonder.
Just because theres isolated incidents of crazy people doesnt mean its common. Someone walked into a school on more than one occasion and started shooting, does that mean that every caucasion male between 16 and 25 should be locked up because they're just going to go nuts and start shooting at people? My point is that theres abberations to every collection of data, and just because they are shocking or severe doesnt mean everyone has to run for cover.
And as for bringing a loaded gun with you everywhere you go, lets say you do find yourself on someones property inadvertantly. What are you going to do with that gun, shoot at him first? Dive behind your bike and have yourself a firefight? What if you do get in trouble, how would having a loaded gun on your possesion help you at all with the authorities?
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Old 07-21-2008, 12:34 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RdrMtn
I'm gonna start carrying a loaded weapon with me from now on, just in case I need to shoot back at someone.

I don't doubt that someone would shoot at or around me if I'm in the really wrong place at the really wrong time though. When that happens I'll be gettin the hell out of there.

You know, guns are a funny thing and make people do funny things. Ultimately, they are a tool for certain uses. If you think that possessing a firearm is the same as possessing the right to use it legally, it might be a good thing you don't carry.

The main issue here is possession of property. These folks are possessing land they don't own-or better yet land that you and I through the government owns. If we find these situations, they should be reported. And if found to be fraudulent, dealt with.

The threat issue is separate. If you are on someone's land, it gives them no right to level a weapon on you or at you unless you threaten them. Driving onto it does not accomplish that. However, if you make a point of pissing off land owners, expect a gun in your face.
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:03 PM   #33
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code of the west v. imminent domain

So living in Larimer county on some acreage; we received a little booklet called the "code of the west". It states that based on some old Colorado laws, it is not my responsibility to fence my cattle in, but for you to fence them out.
If a "Public Right of Way" exists, the land owner can not impede allowable traffic from using it.
Now, that doesn't mean that all roads that are signed "no trespassing" are private or public. Some have no status as they have been roads in use for more than 10 years uninterrupted, and were originally access easements. Once the people let UPS, Fed-Ex, Friend Betty and Bobby come down the road at least once a year for 10 years the rules of Imminent Domain take over and "any reasonable person" can assume that the road is open to public thoroughfare!

Doesn't mean you won't get shot, just means your relatives will be able to file and win a lawsuit!
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Old 07-21-2008, 01:33 PM   #34
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So, aside from shooting and getting shot, I have a thought - maybe start a sticky for this forum with pics & locations of known valid or invalid private property/no-tresspassing signs? This is one of my frustrations of exploring in the mountains, and tend to err on the side of caution which can spoil the day or at least force a route change.

So maybe each post can be a picture of the sign & road, lat & lon, and confirmed status (public or private). I'm sure we all run around the same places and have questions about the same signs.
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Old 07-21-2008, 03:32 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwrover
If a "Public Right of Way" exists, the land owner can not impede allowable traffic from using it.
Now, that doesn't mean that all roads that are signed "no trespassing" are private or public. Some have no status as they have been roads in use for more than 10 years uninterrupted, and were originally access easements. Once the people let UPS, Fed-Ex, Friend Betty and Bobby come down the road at least once a year for 10 years the rules of Imminent Domain take over and "any reasonable person" can assume that the road is open to public thoroughfare!
Ummm . . .No amount of use by Betty, Bobby, the UPS guy or or the Fed-Ex guy can make a private road into a public road, where that use is either by permission from the landowner, or flat trespassing.

I’m afraid this example has two separate concepts (eminent domain and prescriptive easements) twisted together, and in the end, it is an inaccurate statement of both those concepts.

For instance, a prescriptive easement is created when Joe Shmoe drives across your land to get to his land. Joe thinks he has a legal right, and he has some clear reason for that belief: he has an easement deed, or some other document giving him the right, but it has a mistake in the legal description, or some other reason it is legally ineffective by itself. Joe drives across your land, thinking he is using his legal easement, for a certain number of years (each state has a different required time period.) If you later try to prevent Joe from driving across your land, and he proves the facts to a judge about his past use of the road across your land, he wins the lawsuit, and he gets a prescriptive easement.

But Joe’s prescriptive easement has some significant limits. It only gives Joe the right to cross your land. It doesn’t create any right for the public to cross your land. It doesn’t give Sam a right to cross your land. It also is limited by use: Joe can only cross your land in the same way he has been doing for the required period. If he has been crossing it by driving his car, the prescriptive easement does not give him a right to drive cattle across your land. It does not give him a right to ride his horse across your land. It doesn’t give him a right to improve the road, or to invite the public to drive across your land. It only gives him a right to drive his car across your land. Joe’s prescriptive easement is also limited by frequency: if (as in your example) he has driven across your land once each year for the last ten years, his prescriptive easement doesn’t suddenly allow him to drive across your land every week. He can only use it as frequently as he did for the past ten years.

Joe’s prescriptive easement, then is of limited use to Joe, and damn sure doesn’t mean that the road through your land is now, by default, a “public thoroughfare.”

The example also suggests that this concept has something to do with eminent domain. There is no element of eminent domain in that example at all. Only government entities (and only certain ones) can exercise eminent domain. Neither Betty, Bobby, the UPS driver or the Fed-Ex guy has any power to exercise eminent domain. Here’s an example of eminent domain:

The local County Commission decides that the public interest requires the establishment of a public road across your private land. They give public notice, hold a hearing, and conclude in writing, on the record, that the public interest requires the new road, and why. They condemn the right-of way across your property for the new road. Now they can build the public road across your property, and the public can use it. But remember that part of the U.S. Constitution that says: . . .nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.” ? That means that you get paid the fair market value of the land the county took for the road, and the county taxpayers write you a check. That’s eminent domain.

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Old 07-21-2008, 03:34 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman
So, aside from shooting and getting shot, I have a thought - maybe start a sticky for this forum with pics & locations of known valid or invalid private property/no-tresspassing signs? This is one of my frustrations of exploring in the mountains, and tend to err on the side of caution which can spoil the day or at least force a route change.

So maybe each post can be a picture of the sign & road, lat & lon, and confirmed status (public or private). I'm sure we all run around the same places and have questions about the same signs.
How do you propose to determine which signs are valid and which are invalid?
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Old 07-21-2008, 06:44 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy
How do you propose to determine which signs are valid and which are invalid?
As you explained on the first page, it can be difficult, but I'd say the poster should do the first steps you mentioned - talk to the county or NFS. I think a lot of the more popular roads might come up more than you think, and they may know right off the bat. Others maybe not, and then it will take more work. And if you don't get a reasonably sure answer, then don't post it.

A good example is Pole Hill Rd near Carter Lake, the east end. Hell, I've seen three different maps that show it as Weld County Rd 18E. I bet if I call the WC offices I'll not only find out the status as public, but they plow it regularly in winter to maintain access to some of the water supply stuff up the hill. Clearly a non-abandoned county road, despite the intimidating signs ever 15 feet saying it's private.

I suspect the road in the first post near Raymond will also be easy - I bet the NF office gets questions on that pretty regularly. So in these cases I say post who you talked to and what they said. As a lawyer you see the most unclear cases, I bet there are many cases that are more clear.
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Old 07-21-2008, 11:10 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyman
As you explained on the first page, it can be difficult, but I'd say the poster should do the first steps you mentioned - talk to the county or NFS. . . . And if you don't get a reasonably sure answer, then don't post it.
Sounds like a good approach to the problem. If you can get someone at the county or the Forest Service to say "Yep, that's our road, we have an easement, and it continues until the end of the road at . . . ." then we should have as good a case as possible for alerting folks that the signs are bogus.

It would be interesting, in a case like that, to post our own sign saying something like: "Public Road crossing PRivate Land, next X miles. Please respect private property and stay on the road" and see how the landowner reacts.
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:00 AM   #39
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Exactly Cowboy!

Cowboy,

Thanks for the clarification!?
I think!

Yah, the issue of the signs comes into play though, when the local county commissioner establishes that road, but the land owner waits till the Commissioners back is turned and slaps up a Private Road sign...Then you get threads like this one!

The example is the guy up on Old Flowers Road (I think it is?) West of Loveland/ Ft. Collins area. The road clearly crosses his private land. Its public access on both sides, but he puts up a sign stating that any motorcycle that crosses the land on that road will be shot at!

I say we host a rally on that road!

I am a full believer in Private landowner's rights...But if you buy, or allow through laziness, a road to cross your plot...Sucks for you! Deal with it!

But I think legally Cowboy is correct and has the better solution!

jwrover

PS- But with a handle like Cowboy, wouldn't you expect a stronger solution!
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Old 07-22-2008, 07:45 AM   #40
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I know a bit about Stone Canyon Road outside Lyons. There was controversy for years whether the road is public or not. The landowner (my ex-father-in-law) treated it as private and had several nasty confrontations with other property owners in the area. He even confronted the government trapper. I am not really sure if it is public or not. The Boulder County Road Department may know. There are public domain issues on many of these roads that can get pretty murky.

Also, people who live in the hills are often there because they don't fit in well with organized society. They tend to treat everything near them as their private domain and don't want anyone around at all. I don't think it is a good idea to push it around them - they very well may turn violent.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:04 AM   #41
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Its called the Privitazation of America.

Freeways to Tollways
Free TV to pay TV
Reasonable cost health care to exorbitant priced care that force you to buy expensive insurance

Closure of access to Public lands in effect creating "Private" lands.

There are a many other examples of this too.

Ride the roads to keep them open.
Do not just take a sign as the gospel.
Make them prove it is private if it comes to that.
Adopt a position of right not wrong when on questionably closed roads.

That's my opinion.
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:23 AM   #42
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"Huntin' dirtbikes is a lot like huntin' deer. Lead 'em a little, aim for the neck or shoulder. Dogs like the meat, an' you just got a free bike, Bubba!"

Or take a tip from city cops and keep a clean cheap pistol around to wipe their fingerprints on.

You don't have to be a cause to be a result. Don't be ignorant. There are places in the city where you wouldn't ride due to human dangers; don't make the mistake of thinking the mountains are any different. How many messed up tweakers do you think are out there waiting to star in their own horror movie?

I think IC is secretly a Saw affictionado, just waiting for Meterpig to drop his guard...
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Old 07-22-2008, 09:49 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban
Do not just take a sign as the gospel.
Make them prove it is private if it comes to that.
The problem is that our system of land records works the other way. A landowner can do little to "prove" that their driveway is private, except to point to his/her deed. Think about how you would prove that your own driveway is not a public road! In order to establish that the driveway is public, the public would need to be able to go to the land records and point to the right-of-way or easement deed, or eminent domain order that established the public road. If the records don't exist at the local courthouse, the road is not public.

The problem is even worse for forest service roads, because the forest service has not been good at maintaining records through the years. It is rare in my area to find any record of forest roads at the courthouse.

The quickest way to check whether a road through a particular parcel is public, would be to find the current landowner's deed, and see whether it explicitly reserves a public right-of-way across the land. If it doesn't, but you still think the road is public, start checking the deeds from previous owners. If there was a right-of-way reservation in one of those deeds, it is likely that the right-of-way is still in place. If the landowner in 1902 took his deed subject to a public right-of-way, he sold the land to the next owner subject to that right-of-way, even if the next deed in line didn't specifically mention it.

I realize, of course, that it's easy for me to say: "go check the records at the courthouse" since I do that all the time. Maybe I should put on a short afternoon clinic sometime for a few inmates who are really interested in pursuing this issue, and teach them how to search land records to find public road rights of way and easements. It would have to be on a weekday, of course, when the courthouse is open. There can be significant differences in how various county clerks keep their records, but their staff are usually very helpful if you ask.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban

Adopt a position of right not wrong when on questionably closed roads.
What does this mean, Steve?

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Old 07-22-2008, 10:12 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy
What does this mean, Steve?
Innocent until proven guilty is how I read it.
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Old 07-22-2008, 10:24 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by cRAsH
Innocent until proven guilty is how I read it.

Correct - Crash knows how I think.

Driveways are obviously not public.
Roads in the forest leading to driveways are not so obvious.
Does the land owner own on both sides of the road ?

Cowboy,
Do as you choose, but I choose not to easily believe that Forest Roads, (through roads) with a "map history" are private. It is especially hard to believe when these roads lead to known public lands.
I don't care what some land owner flippantly claims - prove it.

Steve
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