The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Information on current and past 14er closures, usually due to private property issues.
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by mindfolded »

I received the exact same response.
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by daway8 »

headsizeburrito wrote: Fri Mar 03, 2023 8:54 am The fact that legislators and lawyers opposed to the proposed CRUS reforms claim that "one case in 20 years" shows the status quo is working is clearly made in ignorance if not outright bad faith.
Somewhere in this thread or another I thought I saw something about several other cases having been settled out of court, which would help balance out the "one case in 20 years" argument, but there's too much fluff in the related threads to find the details.

Anyone have more info in that regards? I'd be happy to spend the 5 minutes needed to reply back, now that I got one nibble on the line, but I need some solid data to pass on...
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by greenonion »

Scott P wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 3:47 pm
two lunches wrote: Fri Mar 10, 2023 2:12 pmGaia shows something different
Gaia isn't the only source to show the boundary there. Some other outdoor maps show what Gaia shows (even the map on the trailhead), but Park County, Forest Service, and reality maps all match the USGS map at this location.

I'm not sure why there is a discrepancy, but the county assessor, forest service, and reality maps should be used in most cases over the outdoor sites. The USGS maps though are sometimes out of date (as in the case with Cameron).

I guess it is possible that the County, Forest Service, USGS, and Reality Maps all share the same error, but this does seem less likely than the outdoor maps having an error, especially since property taxes would be based off what the County has.

It would be interesting though to find out why Gaia and some outdoor maps show the boundary at a different place around Kite Lake. It definitely doesn't match the County, Forest Service, Reality, and USGS maps.

If it did become an issue, it would be worth digging into.
Hey Scott - honest question… what is a “reality map”? One that is using natural or true color imagery? An interactive map? ??
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by Mtnman200 »

mindfolded wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 3:58 am I received the exact same response.
So did I. Below is what I sent in response. Feel free to copy as you see fit.

Dear Senator Gonzales,

Thank you for your response concerning your decision to delay the passing of Senate Bill 23-103. If passed, this bill would protect landowners while also promoting public access to Colorado’s beautiful outdoor spaces.

You rationalized your decision by stating that the Colorado Recreational Use Statute (CRUS) is “an effective method for allowing public recreational access on privately owned lands” and pointed to Nelson v. United States, the only case successfully litigated against a landowner under CRUS. You asserted that this proves that “liability protections for landowners who allow public access to their lands is and continues to remain incredibly strong.”

Unfortunately, your logic is flawed. Specifically, the successful pursuit of a single lawsuit against a landowner demonstrates to all other landowners that they may still have legal liability despite CRUS. The fact that the Nelson case hinged on the Air Force Academy’s “gross negligence” is irrelevant to these landowners and insufficient to alleviate their fears about potential legal liability. If I were an affected landowner, I certainly would heed the advice of my attorney(s) to close recreational access across my land rather than take on potential legal liability due to the failure of CRUS to ensure total immunity.

I again request you reconsider your decision to delay the passing of Senate Bill 23-103.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by Scott P »

greenonion wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 8:04 amHey Scott - honest question… what is a “reality map”? One that is using natural or true color imagery? An interactive map? ??
A typo. It should be realty.
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by cougar »

I probably missed it somewhere, but if the precedent was the Nelson lawsuit against the US Government (air force academy), what's to keep people from suing US government while hiking on public lands?

I heard some years ago Alma secured right-of-way/trail easement on the whole Decalibron circuit, enabling them to reopen. Essentially the land under the trails was a public easement. That was even including a path up to Bross summit. So by staying on trail there was no private property to touch.
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by Scott P »

cougar wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 1:36 pm what's to keep people from suing US government while hiking on public lands?
Nothing as people sue the government all the time. That's a good point that it was the government being sued rather than a private landowner.
I heard some years ago Alma secured right-of-way/trail easement on the whole Decalibron circuit, enabling them to reopen. Essentially the land under the trails was a public easement. That was even including a path up to Bross summit. So by staying on trail there was no private property to touch.
As I remember it the Town of Alma leased the land from the landowner for something like $1 per year and said that they would take on the liability. I don't think it covered Bross though, but only the other peaks.
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by headsizeburrito »

daway8 wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 6:46 am Somewhere in this thread or another I thought I saw something about several other cases having been settled out of court, which would help balance out the "one case in 20 years" argument, but there's too much fluff in the related threads to find the details.

Anyone have more info in that regards? I'd be happy to spend the 5 minutes needed to reply back, now that I got one nibble on the line, but I need some solid data to pass on...
It was mentioned in this Colorado Sun article, but I haven't found any mention of settlements or possible details anywhere else: https://coloradosun.com/2023/03/03/land ... -democrat/
Kari Jones Dulin, an attorney who testified against the legislation for the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, said the state recreational use statute does not need amending. She said proof that the statute works is that Air Force Academy case is the only one “of its kind in 26 years” that has delivered an award to a person who was injured and sued a landowner. (Other attorneys supporting the legislation testified Wednesday that hard-to-track settlements in state court lawsuits have tested the Colorado Recreational Use Statute.)
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by TomPierce »

headsizeburrito wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 10:49 pm
daway8 wrote: Sat Mar 11, 2023 6:46 am Somewhere in this thread or another I thought I saw something about several other cases having been settled out of court, which would help balance out the "one case in 20 years" argument, but there's too much fluff in the related threads to find the details.

Anyone have more info in that regards? I'd be happy to spend the 5 minutes needed to reply back, now that I got one nibble on the line, but I need some solid data to pass on...
It was mentioned in this Colorado Sun article, but I haven't found any mention of settlements or possible details anywhere else: https://coloradosun.com/2023/03/03/land ... -democrat/
Kari Jones Dulin, an attorney who testified against the legislation for the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, said the state recreational use statute does not need amending. She said proof that the statute works is that Air Force Academy case is the only one “of its kind in 26 years” that has delivered an award to a person who was injured and sued a landowner. (Other attorneys supporting the legislation testified Wednesday that hard-to-track settlements in state court lawsuits have tested the Colorado Recreational Use Statute.)
OK, to decipher this: The lawyer is probably correct that there has been only one trial verdict, that's how an award is delivered to a person who sued (i.e. a plaintiff). But that doesn't answer the question of how many cases have ever been filed under this statute. The only way to determine this is to look through all the civil court dockets in Colorado, probably at the county/state level although I suppose a federal case is possible. Maybe there's an online tool for Colorado civil filings that lists the statutory basis for a claim, if so it'd be relatively easy to figure that out (fwiw, my legal work isn't centered in Colorado, I have no idea about the current Colorado docket research tools). But to daway's question, the vast majority of civil cases are settled, I think there was a recent study described in a NYT article that put it between 75-90+%. Such settlements rarely get any press coverage. So there could be many more case filings than the Nelson case. I'd bet there are but that's speculation on my part.

I suspect one thing that probably drives such cases is that a plaintiff is uninsured, i.e. they are just suing to cover medical bills incurred in the accident. I recall a case in Clear Creek Canyon where a woman fell while rock climbing, injured her ankle and was suing the landowner to pay for her medical bills. I think the landowner then closed the cliff where she was injured.

-Tom
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by mindfolded »

I received the following response from Senator Dylan Roberts:
Dear Jay,


Thank you for reaching out to share your perspective on SB23-103. As your State Senator, I appreciate hearing from you and understanding your perspective on legislation, even if we may disagree.


As an avid outdoorsman myself and someone who grew up in the mountains of Colorado, I share your appreciation of our great outdoors and want to protect access to outdoor recreation opportunities. While I believe the reasons for bringing this bill forward are and remain valid, the bill as written was overly broad and could have been harmful to my constituents and Coloradans due to that breadth.


Under current law, a landowner that grants land access to a recreational user is already not liable for the vast majority of injuries that could occur. The only exception is if any injuries are proven to be a result of the landowner's “willful and malicious failure to guard or warn against a known dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity on the land likely to cause harm.” Because “wilful and malicious” failure rarely occurs and is difficult to prove in a court of law, recreational users almost never successfully sue landowners. In fact, the Nelson v. United States case, which was at the center of the discussion on this bill, was actually the first instance in 26 years in which a plaintiff successfully sued a landowner in Colorado. The testimony during this bill revealed that even simple and limited signage or other warning will be completely absolved of any liability and thus, I believe the current very pro-landowner protections already in Colorado did not need to be changed in this way.


I understand that certain landowners are viewing the state of the case law differently at this point and that is why I hope to work with you, the bill sponsors, and the outdoor recreation community to work on other, more narrowly-tailored solutions to this problem.


Thank you again for reaching out to share your perspective, and I hope my email helped explain the reasoning behind my vote on this bill. Please do not hesitate to reach out again on this issue or any other.


Best,

Dylan
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by JROSKA »

mindfolded wrote: Mon Mar 13, 2023 11:42 am I received the following response from Senator Dylan Roberts:
Dear Jay,

testimony during this bill revealed that even simple and limited signage or other warning will be completely absolved of any liability and thus, I believe the current very pro-landowner protections already in Colorado did not need to be changed in this way.


Interesting. Thus, since the attorneys for the landowners are advising them completely the opposite, obviously someone is incorrect.
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Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by daway8 »

JROSKA wrote: Mon Mar 13, 2023 11:59 am
mindfolded wrote: Mon Mar 13, 2023 11:42 am I received the following response from Senator Dylan Roberts:
Dear Jay,

testimony during this bill revealed that even simple and limited signage or other warning will be completely absolved of any liability and thus, I believe the current very pro-landowner protections already in Colorado did not need to be changed in this way.


Interesting. Thus, since the attorneys for the landowners are advising them completely the opposite, obviously someone is incorrect.
I also got the identical response today - at least this one offered a slightly more detailed look at the reasoning behind the "no" vote, including being concerned about the law being overly broad and needing to be more narrowly-tailored to avoid other issues.

This is above my pay grade ($0) to dig deeper into but if someone else has some good data to serve as a comeback I can try to re-engage.
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