The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Information on current and past 14er closures, usually due to private property issues.
Forum rules
  • This is a mountaineering forum, so please keep your posts on-topic. Posts do not all have to be related to the 14ers but should at least be mountaineering-related.
  • Personal attacks and confrontational behavior will result in removal from the forum at the discretion of the administrators.
  • Do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website.
  • Posts will be removed at the discretion of the site administrator or moderator(s), including: Troll posts, posts pushing political views or religious beliefs, and posts with the purpose of instigating conflict within the forum.
For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
Locked
User avatar
Boggy B
Posts: 804
Joined: 10/14/2009
14ers: 58  7 
13ers: 780 76
Trip Reports (40)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by Boggy B »

Chicago Transplant wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 1:57 pm a sign at the trailhead that says "marked and unmarked hazards may exist" covers it all in my opinion
Agree! According to the OP, the attorneys don't.

I'd love to hear an industry opinion on why posting generic signage of the same kind that seems to exempt the government and other entities from damages for "at your own risk" activities like driving and skiing wouldn't also be sufficient to protect landowners from triggering this exception to the current iteration of the CRUS.
User avatar
Scott P
Posts: 9485
Joined: 5/4/2005
14ers: 58  16 
13ers: 50 13
Trip Reports (16)
 
Contact:

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by Scott P »

Boggy B wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 4:43 pm
Chicago Transplant wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 1:57 pm a sign at the trailhead that says "marked and unmarked hazards may exist" covers it all in my opinion
Agree! According to the OP, the attorneys don't.

I'd love to hear an industry opinion on why posting generic signage of the same kind that seems to exempt the government and other entities from damages for "at your own risk" activities like driving and skiing wouldn't also be sufficient to protect landowners from triggering this exception to the current iteration of the CRUS.
Unfortunately Boggy is correct. I have spend the last few decades working on highways, airports, and mines. Every hazard is supposed to be delineated; a general sign covering the whole area just doesn't work when it comes to getting sued. That's why even remote mine shafts are being posted in recent years. On highways, hazards are marked with delineator post with orange reflective buttons. Most people don't know what they mean (they are supposed to though), but next time you drive down the highway notice how many post there are with orange reflectors. This means there is a hole, culvert, piece of concrete, whatever next to the highway.
I'm old, slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
User avatar
amderr22
Posts: 76
Joined: 7/22/2018
14ers: 34  4 
13ers: 9
Trip Reports (3)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by amderr22 »

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 realty 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 Realty 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, Realty, and USGS maps.

If it did become an issue, it would be worth digging into.
I'm not 100% sure where the boundary is - but I know it covers part of the Kite Lake Parking Lot. When we did a site tour with the land owners, they actually pointed at a painted rock next to an iron spike in the parking lot and told us that was the original plot marker from 80+ years ago - so at least part of the Kite Lake Parking Lot itself is privately owned.

When the USFS built these improvements 40+ years ago, a lot of the land ownership issues were just glossed over (literally) so the question of access to the Kite Lake campground and parking lot are both open legal questions. Indeed, from my understanding, the status of the road beyond the winter closure itself is uncertain. If the owners put up a gate to shut people out where the winter closure is, it could be upheld. No way to know unless it went before a Judge. LOTS of uncertain legal issues.
-Alex Derr
"Some people go to church, other people explore the outdoors. But we're all looking for the same thing, at the core of it: A place in and respect for the world bigger than ourselves."
User avatar
amderr22
Posts: 76
Joined: 7/22/2018
14ers: 34  4 
13ers: 9
Trip Reports (3)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by amderr22 »

Chicago Transplant wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 1:57 pm Thanks Boggy, I didn't realize the statute notes warning, I thought it was only if they cause the damage. I think it goes back to my earlier posts on this whole topic that a sign at the trailhead that says "marked and unmarked hazards may exist" covers it all in my opinion. I don't think its neccesary to have a cone/sign at every pothole or washout along the way or the trail will have so many signs they would lose their effectiveness. Plus people (trail users) will move the cones, knock them over, think they are eyesore and remove them. Does the CRUS really expect the owners to maintain their cone? At that point just have the landowner stand by the washout and say "heads up"? How much guarding does one have to do? I guess I just using extreme hypotheticals to get people to see my point of view that 1 generic sign at the trailhead and you're covered.
So this is actually the biggest concern among the landowners on this issue. The law is incredibly vague about what constitutes a 'warning'.

For example, last year the CMC and owners installed 22 signs on the Decalibron route - it only took 1 year for six of them (28%) to be vandalized so badly that they needed to be replaced. But the law is silent on issues like this. If the owner learns that the sign was broken or stolen - how quickly must they replace it? What if they can't get up there for a few weeks while they order a replacement - and someone gets hurt? What if the signs get stolen again - and again - and they finally stop paying out of pocket and replacing them - and then someone gets hurt. Does that count? The requirement to warn of known dangers places a huge burden on landowners to install and maintain signage - and there are far too many uncertainties for them to feel safe.

As for the idea of a generic warning sign at the trailhead - that likely would not protect landowners. The way the law is worded ("Known dangerous conditions") a vague warning wouldn't be specific enough. A 'known' hazard means that landowners have specific, objective knowledge of a hazard. Thus, a generic sign that doesn't mention specific, known risks (like a section of trail that washed out) would not be considered a warning about that specific risk - and that means the landowner would be liable under the exemption in the bill.

The Colorado recreational use statute, as written, is irrevocably broken. It needs to be fixed.
-Alex Derr
"Some people go to church, other people explore the outdoors. But we're all looking for the same thing, at the core of it: A place in and respect for the world bigger than ourselves."
User avatar
amderr22
Posts: 76
Joined: 7/22/2018
14ers: 34  4 
13ers: 9
Trip Reports (3)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by amderr22 »

BillMiddlebrook wrote: Tue Mar 14, 2023 9:11 am
two lunches wrote: Tue Mar 14, 2023 9:06 am
although i am certain that our 14ers, especially the "easier" ones draw people to our beautiful state in pursuit of their next post (or whatever), it is possible that the good people of Alma will not miss the visitors.
This was certainly the case 15+ years ago during that closure. I worked with one of the orgs in attempts to reopen peaks and was surprised at how many locals were happy about the closure and had a negative view of those hiking the 14ers.
While I am sure some locals might appreciate the reprieve, the Park County Board of Commissioners and the Alma Town Council both endorsed the bill, and the current and former mayor of Alma took a day to drive to Denver and sit for 5 hours so they could testify for 180 seconds in support of the bill. In a small community like Alma with a population of 296, I generally believe that local elected leaders have a pretty good pulse on how the majority of the community feels, as everyone knows everyone by name.
-Alex Derr
"Some people go to church, other people explore the outdoors. But we're all looking for the same thing, at the core of it: A place in and respect for the world bigger than ourselves."
Above_Treeline
Posts: 437
Joined: 8/19/2017
14ers: 3 
Trip Reports (1)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by Above_Treeline »

It's been at least partly infuriating to see support for private property rights on this forum. It is at odds with hiking access. 4 more peaks closed. Indefinitely.

I understand the reasons, I'm not stupid. Seems to be the trend though closing off access. Even in this area (TX) having basically no peaks. Threat of lawsuits is nothing new.

I haven't read the comments on this thread much. But I have on past threads people need to smarten up and not be too supportive of private property rights if they enjoy hiking. At odds unfortunately
I support reintroducing grizzlies and wolves to their historic ranges.
User avatar
BillMiddlebrook
Site Administrator
Posts: 6960
Joined: 7/25/2004
14ers: 58  46  19 
13ers: 173 45 37
Trip Reports (4)
 
Contact:

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by BillMiddlebrook »

Now you've done it
A call from fascism is coming from within the house. Picture That
Above_Treeline
Posts: 437
Joined: 8/19/2017
14ers: 3 
Trip Reports (1)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by Above_Treeline »

I'll give you one example. In Louisiana there used to be lots of people fishing in the fall in one area during the crappie run. Fishing off the bank probably private land. Nobody seemed to care much. Maybe a little over a decade ago. Now I'm not sure it's allowed. They don't even have to put up no trespassing signs anymore, apparently, due to recent changes

Have personal injury laws changed? Doubt it. Or is it just the people take their cues off Fox news etc and think it's the thing to do?

But the Republican party is extremely hostile to public lands. And very pro private property rights. Essentially very hostile to hiking and other outdoor access. But maybe I'm not "supposed" to point out this obvious fact on a forum dedicated to hiking.
Last edited by Above_Treeline on Mon Mar 27, 2023 11:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
I support reintroducing grizzlies and wolves to their historic ranges.
User avatar
cedica
Posts: 743
Joined: 6/25/2014
Trip Reports (0)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by cedica »

Bill, please feel free to Ryan Reynolds all of us any time you like, if the price is right. :thumbup:
User avatar
madmattd
Posts: 276
Joined: 12/2/2017
14ers: 38  14 
13ers: 86 4
Trip Reports (2)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by madmattd »

Above_Treeline wrote: Mon Mar 27, 2023 11:49 am Have personal injury laws changed? Doubt it. Or is it just the people take their cues off Fox news etc and think it's the thing to do?
The laws haven't generally changed, no. But the number of ambulance-chasing lawyers and the number of people who sue to cover (pay) for their personal mistakes has risen substantially over the last couple decades. Just look at all the billboards on the highway...
Last edited by madmattd on Mon Mar 27, 2023 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
SkaredShtles
Posts: 2471
Joined: 5/20/2013
Trip Reports (0)
 

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by SkaredShtles »

disentangled wrote: Wed Mar 15, 2023 7:47 am
JROSKA wrote: Tue Mar 14, 2023 10:44 pm I see it as a matter of simple basic economics. If I make a trip to Durango for Chi Basin for a few days and spend a couple hundred $$ on gas, food and maybe a hotel on the way, that helps out rural CO a lot more than if I just hang out in Denver.
Maybe, but small-town locals may want something better than a low-wage service tourist economy which accommodates the big shots from Denver and leaves them with crappy gas station jobs.
Just out of curiosity - what do you suppose these better paying jobs would *be* in a small, rural town? I mean, there's not much going on... that's what makes them small, rural towns.
User avatar
BillMiddlebrook
Site Administrator
Posts: 6960
Joined: 7/25/2004
14ers: 58  46  19 
13ers: 173 45 37
Trip Reports (4)
 
Contact:

Re: The Decalibron 14ers Are Closing Again

Post by BillMiddlebrook »

cedica wrote: Mon Mar 27, 2023 11:52 am Bill, please feel free to Ryan Reynolds all of us any time you like, if the price is right. :thumbup:
I'm on it

Maybe some mountaineering blog will come along and offer us $ we can't refuse. Lol. Doubtful
A call from fascism is coming from within the house. Picture That
Locked