Access in the News

Here are some articles and news related to free public access to private lands for recreation. Have a tip or article to share? Contact us here.

Ouray Ice Park, once the gold standard for free recreation on private land, caught up in liability concerns

The city of Ouray, a private landowner and the nonprofit operator of the Ouray Ice Park are negotiating a new partnership as liability issues with the Colorado Recreational Use Statute grow. “We don’t think CRUS is working and we are at risk. Right now, we do not feel protected by CRUS.” Read more.

14,000 ft up, liability fears block access to iconic Colorado peaks

“These mountains are a kind of portal to people having some of the most amazing experiences of their life,” said Lloyd Athearn, executive director of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative. “A lot of people want to do all of the mountains. So being unable to do that is a source of extreme frustration.” Read more.

Coalition seeks to quell liability concerns that have closed Colorado 14ers

A coalition is growing with the hopes of fixing what many recreation advocates see as a big issue facing Colorado’s outdoors. The coalition is called Fix CRUS, in reference to the Colorado Recreational Use Statute. Read more.

Some Colorado 14ers will remain closed to the public unless a new coalition can change the law

Now a growing alliance of prominent nonprofits is mobilizing to raise the issue of landowner liability again next year, seeking a revision to the Colorado Recreational Use Statute (CRUS). The Fix CRUS Coalition, founded in April, aims to fix the issue next year. Read more.

Landowner will close access to two Colorado 14ers after lawmakers rejected legislation limiting liability

The owner of three Colorado 14er peaks outside Alma says he will close access to hikers after state senators on Wednesday killed a bill that would have limited the liability of property owners who allow public access to private land. Read more.

Access Denied: CO Landowner Closes 14er Access After ‘Liability Bill’ Fails

Now, though, the door has slammed shut. When the Colorado Senate Judiciary Committee killed Senate Bill 103 on March 1, it extinguished the hopes of any state landowner seeking more robust regulatory protections against recreational visitors who might sue them for damages they incur on their property. Read more.

Dispute Over Property Ownership and Creek Access at Kittredge Park Continues

A Kitteredge park lost access to a nearby creek after new landowners expressed concerns about their liability risk. They installed new trespassing signs and shut down access, sparking a local dispute that has escalated into death threats, harassment, and an effort by the county to take the land through an adverse possession lawsuit. Read more.

How one El Paso County bike crash is changing access to 14ers in rural Colorado

he ramifications of a lawsuit that ended with the U.S. government paying an injured mountain biker several million dollars after a crash on a washed-out trail continue to challenge Colorado fourteener hikers. And more recreational pursuits could be impacted by the 2019 court decision as private landowners worry about lawsuits filed by people who traverse their land on foot, bike or boat. Read more.

Popular hiking trail near Pikes Peak closing amid land dispute

Horsethief Park Trail, a popular hiking path that leads to several scenic spots around Pikes Peak, will shut down Thursday because a private landowner is closing access to the portion of their property that overlaps with the trail, U.S. Forest Service officials said. Forest Service spokeswoman Crystal Young said a 2020 land survey found that 76 feet of the trail crossed the landowners property. Forest service officials continued to work on negotiations with the landowner but the landowner plans to close overlapping section Thursday. Read more.

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