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Mountains will stay closed to public

Submitted By: John McNamee on Apr 4, 2006


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In today's RockyMountainNews there is a brief piece about Mounts Lincoln, Bross and Democrat in Park County. The article says that these peaks will stay closed this year due to the land owners needing time to place signs and improve trails, etc. It seems a long time to me!

I'm unable to find it on the website but if you have a copy of the paper it's on page 18A.

It also appears that the Wolf Creek Ski area may forever change with the decision to allow a Texan developer to construct an access road through the Rio Grande National Forest for a proposed resort village.

Here's the link


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By Buff Johnson
Apr 4, 2006

I found it on the DenverPost.com - It looks like a quick blog. I'll check into this John - It looks like there are issues - I will advise.

3 Park County 14ers not yet open to public

Three 14,000-foot peaks in Park County will not be open to public access until at least 2007 under a state law passed this year, the U.S. Forest Service said Monday.

Sara Mayben, South Park district ranger for the Pike National Forest, said the service must make accurate maps of the trails on Mount Lincoln, Mount Bross and Mount Democrat and then get easements from landowners before the peaks can be officially opened.

Trails on a half-dozen of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks cross private or leased land, presenting an obstacle for peak-baggers - climbers who set out to reach the top of all the "Fourteeners." The new law allows owners to permit people to cross their land and mining claims without being sued for any accidents that might occur.

By Buff Johnson
Apr 4, 2006

The CMC, the CFI, TPL, & the USFS all appear to be working on this (Lincoln, Bross, & Democrat). It appears there are issues coming from the owners of the private property. The blog made it sound like the USFS is directly restricting access, which is not the case.

It appears that HB 1049 may not working out like we (climbers) had originally thought/hoped. The liability protection offered from HB 1049 seems to only offer protection as long as the injured party is within the confines of a trail easement. (so everyone is going to end up having to hike single-file up & down the mountains). And, there is still an issue of having to provide fencing for the known mine hazards from children & the unknown public.

So basically, what was the point of HB 1049??

We can only ask that the private property owners' wishes be respected until things get sorted out.

Organizations by abbreviation
CMC - Colorado Mtn Club
CFI - Colorado Fourteeners Initiative
TPL - Trust for Public Land
USFS - US Forest Service

By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Apr 4, 2006

Regarding Wolf Creek, yes the forest was changed with the building of the ski area, but at least it has a relatively small impact. The current proposal is going to basically plant a Beaver Creek type development in the area. What I can't understand is why people allow the Forest Server and/or Government to continue to sell off public lands and approve new areas to be developed. Does Vail really need more extra lifts or more runs? It's already big enough, yet they continue to expand and develop surrounding lands. Who benefits the most from this, the public or the corporation?

By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
Apr 5, 2006

The Wolf Creek thing makes me ill. Just a lot of corporate greed and lack of balls from our government. I hope the family that ownes the ski area wins the court battle with the developer.

By Brandon johnson
From: Highlands Ranch, CO
Apr 8, 2006

Why is it that ski resorts think they need to constantally expand and try to out do each other. From what I can tell Wolf Creek is away from any other resort and gets the most snow every year. Those factors would I think, encourage people top go there due to not crowdness and the massive amounts of snow.

By Buff Johnson
May 5, 2006

Parties mentioned above have met including the addition of Access Colorado to advocate access to the 14'ers in question in Park County. The main point I gathered from summary was that as this is a private property issue, the landowners' wishes will have to be met by the agencies advocating for access.