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Old 07-23-2008, 08:32 AM   #61
Osprey! OP
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Private Road or Not Map

Maybe we could work together on a map? I put the supposed "private roads" I encountered last weekend on a Google Map and attached a photo of the signs. I color coded the pins as well. The one I think was wrong is Green. The others are yellow for unknown status. As I confirm private marked roads are actually private, I'll use red pins.

You can contribute to the map by sending me a PM. I think you'll need a Google account to access it (free).

Here's a link to the map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...2722ed6dedb21a


Osprey! screwed with this post 07-23-2008 at 08:38 AM
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Old 07-23-2008, 01:38 PM   #62
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Here's a slightly different situation...

I found a road (CR85.5) that goes across the National Forest east of Trinidad, and the Google satellite view shows the road all the way through (I've seen others where the satellite doesn't show a road... and whadayaknow, it's not there on the ground either).

I rode down there on my way to Texas (planned to camp in the NF on the way), and the road has a county green & white road sign with CR 85.5 written on it. It's obviously not well travelled, and I rode down it through a driveway with 2 houses... one on either side. The jeep road continued out the other side across a pasture / prairie / whatever. I got out to the end and saw a barbed wire gate across the road, and the road continued into the woods on the other side.

There were no markings that would indicate the gate was a border to the national forest. There were no markings that would indicate the road was private. There was simply the green and white CR 85.5 sign and a gate with no signs.

In that case, is it ok to open the gate, pass, and close the gate?

My actions were to turn around, be very thankful that I have my stock... quite... KLR exhaust, and ride around the NF to the east and go into New Mexico via Branson and Folsom.

Link to Google


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Old 07-23-2008, 11:31 PM   #63
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Laura,

I think you could have opened the gate, and kept going (remember to close the gate behind you, though!)

My gazeteer shows county road 85.5 turning into an unimproved road at that point, but it is labled as county road 85.5 all the way to the border.

It's not uncommon in Wyoming to find gates on public roads, and it's perfectly fine to go through the gate. They use gates in poor counties since they can't afford cattleguards every time the county road crosses a fenceline. You find gated public roads around the national forests a lot too. I would expect parts of colorado to do it too.

Cowboy screwed with this post 07-24-2008 at 12:17 AM
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:53 PM   #64
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Chris is a good buddy. Are you Ted his cousin ?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy
For those who know me, the whole "cowboy" username is kind of a joke. I may have grown up on a ranch, and owned horses all my life, but I mostly reject the whole cowboy look and lifestyle. I'm interested in "western" legal issues, but I'm more interested in promoting the new west economy, built on recreation and clean(ish) industries.

Dad wanted me to be anything BUT a cowboy. Work hard and stay in school, he said . . .

Ask Chris Katsaros about his cousin Ted sometime. (try to get him to join us for a ride, while you're at it. That big GS needs to see some dirt!)
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:15 AM   #65
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Quote:
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Chris is a good buddy. Are you Ted his cousin ?
Yep! First time I ever saw a dual sport bike, Chris was riding his to Sturgis with his dad, and all his dad's buddies. Chris was the lone BMW among a bunch of Harleys.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:01 AM   #66
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There's a road near here, marked on all the maps as a county road, and it obviously goes up and over a mountain when you look at Google earth. Tami and I rode up there one day and were met with at least four "Private Property" signs, but after we stopped and looked carefully we saw that one sign said "on both sides of road" in small print. Cool- we continued on. All along the road were "Private Property signs, but up near the top of the mountain we crossed a cattle gaurd and signs that said Entering National Forest lands, and were other roads to ride splitting off from there. We then decided to continue on down the other side of the mountain on this county road, and we came to another cattle gaurd with no gate, but signs saying "Private Property". Assuming it was just like the first signs, we continued on for several miles, but the road was obviously not used often. At the bottom of the mountain, within sight of a major well travelled county road, we came to a locked gate, with "Private Property" signs on the other side. Oh oh. Well shit. We had to backtrack all the way to where we started.

I've since been to the other side of that gate, where the road hits the major county road, and there is a sign with county road numbers that has been somehow knocked down and is laying in the weeds, and the road has a huge fancy overhead gate/entrance across it matching the trophy home up the hill.

So if the road says its a county road on both ends, and it shows as a county road on every map I've seen, how do I know if it is legal to pass? Can this guy really put a locked gate on a county road?
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:08 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy
Laura,

[snip]

It's not uncommon in Wyoming to find gates on public roads, and it's perfectly fine to go through the gate. They use gates in poor counties since they can't afford cattleguards every time the county road crosses a fenceline. You find gated public roads around the national forests a lot too. I would expect parts of colorado to do it too.
In many cases, ranchers or the county don't put up cattleguards on roads as they move the livestock from pasture to pasture for grazing and the livestock use the road to get there. A cattle guard would not work. It may also be a $ issue as well.

T.
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Old 07-24-2008, 07:48 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Opie
Maybe we could work together on a map? I put the supposed "private roads" I encountered last weekend on a Google Map and attached a photo of the signs. I color coded the pins as well. The one I think was wrong is Green. The others are yellow for unknown status. As I confirm private marked roads are actually private, I'll use red pins.

You can contribute to the map by sending me a PM. I think you'll need a Google account to access it (free).

Here's a link to the map:
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...2722ed6dedb21a
I like this idea, as long as you don't mind maintaining it. I think it takes time to get pics + status sorted out, so it's not like you'll have to deal with updates every day, so hopefully it won't take too much of your time.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:54 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke
There's a road near here, marked on all the maps as a county road, and it obviously goes up and over a mountain when you look at Google earth. Tami and I rode up there one day and were met with at least four "Private Property" signs, but after we stopped and looked carefully we saw that one sign said "on both sides of road" in small print. Cool- we continued on. All along the road were "Private Property signs, but up near the top of the mountain we crossed a cattle gaurd and signs that said Entering National Forest lands, and were other roads to ride splitting off from there. We then decided to continue on down the other side of the mountain on this county road, and we came to another cattle gaurd with no gate, but signs saying "Private Property". Assuming it was just like the first signs, we continued on for several miles, but the road was obviously not used often. At the bottom of the mountain, within sight of a major well travelled county road, we came to a locked gate, with "Private Property" signs on the other side. Oh oh. Well shit. We had to backtrack all the way to where we started.

I've since been to the other side of that gate, where the road hits the major county road, and there is a sign with county road numbers that has been somehow knocked down and is laying in the weeds, and the road has a huge fancy overhead gate/entrance across it matching the trophy home up the hill.

So if the road says its a county road on both ends, and it shows as a county road on every map I've seen, how do I know if it is legal to pass? Can this guy really put a locked gate on a county road?
Duke,

The short answer to your question is no, a landowner cannot unilaterally close off a county road, unless he has followed the process to get the county commission to formally declare the road to be abandoned.

I would recommend that you take photographs of the knocked-down sign, the locked gate, and any no trespassing or similar signs the landowner put up. Take those photos, along with a map showing the county road crossing through that land, and make an appointment to talk with your county attorney about enforcing the statute I've pasted below. If you read that statute, you'll find a reference to the abandonment procedure. You'll want to talk with the county attorney about whether the landowner has followed that process and had the road declared to be abandoned. If not, the county attorney will need to check the right-of-way on file for that county road, to verify that it does in fact describe the road as passing through the private parcel at issue. It might be useful for you to go to the county clerks' office first, and get a copy of the right-of-way or easement deed that establishes the county road, so you will be familiar with it before you meet with the county attorney. Ask the staff for help finding the easement or right-of-way. They may be filed together with all the other county roads, which will make them easy to find, or they may be filed with the general land records, in which case you will need to know in advance which section, township and range the land is located in.

Another useful bit of information would be to have a copy of the deed granting this landowner title to his property. If the deed specifically states that he takes title subject to existing easements, it gives you more ammo, and the deed may specifically mention the easement for this particular county road.

Here's the statute that prohibits blocking a county road, and sets out the abandonment process:









43-2-201.1. Closure of public highways extending to public lands - penalty.










(1) Any person, other than a governing body of a municipality or county acting pursuant to part 3 of this article, who intentionally blocks, obstructs, or closes any public highway, as described in section 43-2-201, that extends to any public land, including public land belonging to the federal government, thereby closing public access to public lands, without good cause therefor, commits a class 1 misdemeanor and shall be punished as provided in section 18-1.3-501, C.R.S.








(2) The provisions of this section shall not apply to temporary and reasonable obstruction of the public highways described in subsection (1) of this section by a railroad train at a railroad crossing.








(3) Any peace officer of this state, as described in section 16-2.5-101, C.R.S., has the authority to enforce the provisions of this section.








(4) (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of this section, any owner of private land who complies with the provisions of this subsection (4) may post notice of intent to close a road crossing such land if such road has been abandoned. Said owner shall promptly notify the board of county commissioners of the county in which such road is located of such proposed closure. The board of county commissioners so notified shall publish notice of such proposed closure in a newspaper of general circulation in such county within sixty days after receipt of notice from said owner and shall post notice of such proposed closure at each end of the road described in the notice. If the board of county commissioners receives no objection to such proposed closure within eighteen months after such publication, the road described in such notice shall be closed to public access.








(b) If the board of county commissioners receives objection to such proposed closure, it shall schedule a public hearing concerning the proposed closure and shall publish notice of said hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in such county at least ten days prior to said hearing. At said hearing, the board shall hear objections to the proposed closure and shall decide, within thirty days of the hearing, whether the road described in the notice shall be closed to public access.










Source: L. 76: Entire section added, p. 821, 1, effective July 1. L. 98: (1) amended, p. 1444, 35, effective July 1. L. 2002: (1) amended, p. 1565, 386, effective October 1. L. 2003: (3) amended, p. 1617, 22, effective August 6.










Cross references: For the legislative declaration contained in the 20
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:02 AM   #70
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Just to add to the discussion, here is the Colorado statute that defines a public highway, for reference as you read the statute I posted earlier: (I apologize for the funky formatting)

43-2-201. Public highways.










(1) The following are declared to be public highways:








(a) All roads over private lands dedicated to the public use by deed to that effect, filed with the county clerk and recorder of the county in which such roads are situate, when such dedication has been accepted by the board of county commissioners. A certificate of the county clerk and recorder with whom such deed is filed, showing the date of the dedication and the lands so dedicated, shall be filed with the county assessor of the county in which such roads are situate.








(b) All roads over private or other lands dedicated to public uses by due process of law and not heretofore vacated by an order of the board of county commissioners duly entered of record in the proceedings of said board;








(c) All roads over private lands that have been used adversely without interruption or objection on the part of the owners of such lands for twenty consecutive years;








(d) All toll roads or portions thereof which may be purchased by the board of county commissioners of any county from the incorporators or charter holders thereof and thrown open to the public;








(e) All roads over the public domain, whether agricultural or mineral.










Source: L. 1883: p. 251, 1. G.S. 2953. L. 1891: p. 302, 1. L. 1893: p. 435, 1. R.S. 08: 5787. L. 21: p. 380, 1. C.L. 1243. CSA: C. 143, 1. CRS 53: 120-1-1. C.R.S. 1963: 120-1-1.










Cross references: For toll roads, see part 3 of article 3 of this title.





So for quick reference, subsection A sets out the typical method of creating a county road: the landowner sells or gives a right-of way to the county, which is recorded in a deed. Subsection B, although it doesn't say so clearly, is the provision that allows the county commission to create a county road by eminent domain (which is what the statute means when it says "due process"). Subsection C desribes a road created by the process I earlier referred to as a prescriptive easement. (adverse use, for twenty years, in the case of Colorado.) (In Wyoming, it only takes seven years) Subsection e is intriguing to me. It seems to suggest that ALL roads on public land are public highways. I'll have to find a definition of "public domain" to understand just what this means. It may be limited to state lands.

Cowboy screwed with this post 07-24-2008 at 11:10 AM
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:20 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke

So if the road says its a county road on both ends, and it shows as a county road on every map I've seen, how do I know if it is legal to pass? Can this guy really put a locked gate on a county road?
Duke: Alan and I have found some similar ones in Boulder County.. selfish pricks with illegal locks pretending its private when its not.

Arseholes.
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:23 PM   #72
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Speaking of which.. is the "Royal Gorge Bridge" a public road or are they rightfully trying to charge $28 per adult to cross it?
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:31 AM   #73
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Hey gang!

I was contacted by a reporter recently who is planning to write a story on the same subject as this thread. She's currently casting about for an example of a fake private road that would make an interesting subject for the story.

I thought I'd revive this old thread and ask if anyone here knows an example I can point her to, pretty much anywhere in Wyoming or Colorado.

Dunno whether the examples at the beginning of this thread are still around. If anyone knows they are, could you please direct me to the exact location?
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:03 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hayduke View Post
There's a road near here, marked on all the maps as a county road, and it obviously goes up and over a mountain when you look at Google earth. Tami and I rode up there one day and were met with at least four "Private Property" signs, but after we stopped and looked carefully we saw that one sign said "on both sides of road" in small print. Cool- we continued on. All along the road were "Private Property signs, but up near the top of the mountain we crossed a cattle gaurd and signs that said Entering National Forest lands, and were other roads to ride splitting off from there. We then decided to continue on down the other side of the mountain on this county road, and we came to another cattle gaurd with no gate, but signs saying "Private Property". Assuming it was just like the first signs, we continued on for several miles, but the road was obviously not used often. At the bottom of the mountain, within sight of a major well travelled county road, we came to a locked gate, with "Private Property" signs on the other side. Oh oh. Well shit. We had to backtrack all the way to where we started.

I've since been to the other side of that gate, where the road hits the major county road, and there is a sign with county road numbers that has been somehow knocked down and is laying in the weeds, and the road has a huge fancy overhead gate/entrance across it matching the trophy home up the hill.

So if the road says its a county road on both ends, and it shows as a county road on every map I've seen, how do I know if it is legal to pass? Can this guy really put a locked gate on a county road?
Sounds like the road that goes south to north over Waugh Mountain and T into Co Rd 2!
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:22 AM   #75
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Sounds like the road that goes south to north over Waugh Mountain and T into Co Rd 2!
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