Contributors to this thread:
Have a rancher / outfitter in my unit who has blocked a forest road in two different locations by fencing it off and putting medal gate and marking it as private! I have checked up to date maps and gps and they both show that the road and land is not private. The rancher has a lock and chain on both gates. The forest service has said they can do nothing about it to contact game an fish, which I found odd.
If it truly is public I'd back up the truck, pull out a chain and fix the problem hahaha
It is public land, forest service confirmed it, but said I needed to take up the matter with game and fish. If nothing is done by the time my September archery hunt is here, I will do just that split limb.
I don't know what game and fish would do for a property matter? Its pretty cut and and dry buddy , public is public. Unless the game and fish aren't allowing passage , but they would not have done it that way.
A big part of me wants to confront the damn land owner. Especially because he acts like his shit don't stink and he can do what he wants around there partially because no one to my knowledge has confronted him. But its a forest service road, so unless the person I talked to was just unsure, I'm more than sure they are the one's to handle the re-opening of the road in a sense.
Unfortunately the landowner can block the FS road if is crossing his property and there is access from the other side. I know of more than one place this is happening as we speak.
Find out if there is access via another rout, if not you have a case. Consider contacting the NM Wildlife Federation.
Call the sheriffs office.
Is the road on the MVUM? If it isn't, he probably can lock it. However, if it isn't, he (as the rancher or his employees) can only use it for ranch purposes and not hunting. I'm wondering if that is why the forest service keeps sending you to Game and Fish.
While he might be able to close the road if it isn't on the MVUM, he cannot mark it as private if it is indeed public land.
The road and any land around it are totally separate items. Maps and a GPS chip are not sources for road ownership despite what you may read on the Internet. My suggestion is to go to the source directly and confirm ownership of the road and if any easements are in place. That would be County, BLM, State Land, or Forest Service. A private road can block access to public land and they do all across the West; It's called "landlocked".
Thanks guys for all the help. I will contact NM wildlife federation and see what's next. There is access to this land from another area, but the land owner has blocked it there as well. Also the land owner is a rancher however runs a guide service on his land as well. I will find out what road exactly it is tonight from my father in-law, that way those who have a topo map of 21a can see what I'm talking about.
I know this spot well, you can't do anything about it. I'm not sure how he is blocking it from the other side, but he is notorious for decommissioning roads and putting up fences to keep you from camping. Sterling Carter, he's sweet as pie if you're paying him but he's crooked as a dogs hind leg.
Also keep an ear out for their hunters using ranch only tags unit wide.
I also believe that b/c he chooses to lock the gate he is responsible for some of the upkeep of the roads of which he does the opposite. I think the forest service services only to silver creek.
ha ha ha ohiohunter you hit the nail on the head! Then you know the potential bulls in that area as well! Well I'm planning on hunting the hell out of that area this coming September. I know a neighbor of ours in that area who has been trying to get this issue resolved for a couple years now and still nada. Oh well, publics public and i'll be on it come hell or high water in September.
There are reasons he locks the gate and the locked gate may be part of the reason the big bulls are there. Is it a road you can ride a mountain bike on? They are easy to lift over a fence. :)
If it really is public land there is no way he can do anything about you riding a bike in.
If this ASSHOLE receives unit wide tags this is a moot point , contact NMDGF and find out . Other than that check for game cameras and give the ASSHOLE what he deserves !
All I can say is that a pipe wrench in the right hands and knowledge of how to use it can "unlock" most gates...
The only way he can legally lock it is if there is a portion of the road that crosses private before you get to public, but the road must be on private first, as mentioned earlier. Otherwise, that fella be breaking the law.
I may be mistaken (given bad information) but in NM you cannot landlock. But, ranchers and politicians in NM, what's the difference?
I believe I came across the gate this forum is talking about , there is no private land anywhere on the road !!!!! This dude is breaking the law big time ..I am gonna peruse this. Mike315 I'm sending you a p.m. please respond.
Mike I sent you two p.m. first one had the wrong phone number. Ohio , I sent you one as well.
Mike I sent you two p.m. first one had the wrong phone number. Ohio , I sent you one as well.
That dude put the freaking gate right before the blm starts to keep people from camping on it. Guaranteed
That's the NM rancher way. All too common to "legally" block access to public land so as to keep access to themselves (and their paying, guided clients).
I too have hunted this unit and think I know where you are talking about.
Chaps my hide to work your tail off to hike around locked gates or small tracks of private only to cross fresh ATV tracks on the public land.
I contacted two g&f Sargents that both knew exactly who and what was going on, both confirm that it is illegal what he is doing and they will get it taken care of ASAP. Its not the first time this rancher has done this. The thing is that the road he is blocking is a forest road ON PUBLIC LAND!!! NO PRIVATE INVOLVED HERE ... I WILL BE CARRYING BOLT CUTTERS NEXT TIME. THE WARDENS KNOW WHAT HE IS DOING AND DID CONFIRM IT IS ILLEAGAL.
Is there a tree close by you could put a game camera for when he replaces it?
Smarba u couldn't have written a more spot on statement! My experience exactly
You know, it sure would be a shame to accidentally drop a box of upholstery tacks on the ground just past (a couple if inches) from the gate on public where the fresh ATV tracks are...
It sure would HDE , complete accident right...... well just to have some sort of closure this punk is in the wrong. I may cut his lock opening morning,replace it with my own, and wait around the corner to see his response when he shows up with his "PRIVATE LAND ONLY " hunters to see the lock is switched.
I hope this gets resolved b/c I have 2 friends who need to cross that gate. There are also other issues behind the locked gates, Sterling Carter is blocking roads, putting up unnecessary fences, and not maintaining the road behind "his" locked gate.
I've contacted NM Wildlife Federation and the warden, hopefully something is done before the opener. Carter practically runs Winston NM, comes from generations of ranchers. These gates are not the only ones he is locking keeping us off of our land. The guy has more money than davey crockett, I don't know why he puts everyone through so much trouble for his handful of elk hunts. BUT I assure you if he gets ranch only tags they are hunting unit wide... check the eplus list and then see if you run into any Black Range guides on public lands. I have, but doesn't do much good w/ no cell service and a game warden who is spread thinner than valvoline on a lake.
I do not know if he is responsible for the lock split is talking about but I know he is notorious for it so it wouldn't surprise me.
Sounds like the range wars all over again. Where's William Bonnie and The Regulators when you need them?
Mike315: have you looked at the new Gila Travel Management Plan road maps?
Is it as simple as the road(s) you refer to being no longer open per the TMP, therefore locked?
Some roads are open only for administrative/authorized personnel. Not sure who falls under this category, but perhaps ranchers with leases can access?
I realize it would be cheesy if a rancher has lease access and uses a road for hunters, but who knows?
Double-check that TMP. If you read the verbiage, the TMP is Alternative G. Not sure why they posted all of the other alternatives, as it sure makes things confusing.
Would be happy to discuss more via PM.
Not only would it be cheesy, it would be a violation. Now the odds of them getting caught and fined are slim to none, but I wouldn't hesitate to stand at the gate with a camera documenting who went through it if is indeed a now closed road with "authorized use only."
BTW, in talking with Forest Service people the past month, I have been assured that a picture showing someone or a vehicle with license plate is sufficient for them to mail a citation. Not certain how well it would stand up in court, but at least they would have to go to that hassle to fight it. I will definitely take pics with my phone and if I can't send them immediately, I will send them the next time I have cell coverage.
I simply wasn't sure what is included in "authorized use only".
For instance if a rancher has lease to access cattle (does that fall under authorized use?), and takes a hunter along in his truck, then dumps out a salt block or checks his cattle during the drive, maybe he can get away with it. Have never looked into the details of what exactly falls within "authorized use".
Yeah, unfortunately it is just fuzzy enough that it likely means they will do whatever they want and call it "authorized."
So is there anyway to become a volunteer reserve officer with the FS? I would love to be on the FS side of those locked gates with closed roads and issue tickets. Maybe next year if I don't draw I will get a filming permit. Anybody want to wear FS LE costume uniforms and official looking FS vehicles for my film during the month of September? We will be filming on two roads that are suppose to be closed to all vehicle traffic.
You don't have to have a permit to snap pictures of violators. :) We did it a few years back sitting at our camp 75 yards from a "Road Closed" sign. It was crazy how many people drove up, parked in front of the sign, looked around, took a leak and then got back in their trucks and drove right by it.
We picked up the camera and took pics of them driving right by the sign and then a few more as they continued down the closed road. FS guy came to our camp, looked at the pictures, wrote down their license plate #s and said he would be sending them fines in the mail. He told us to keep taking pics and gave us his card with his email. I sent him more after the hunt. What happened from there, who knows but it was quite satisfying regardless.
I was thinking more about making a film, which you do need a permit for if for commercial use. The reason to make the "film" , and have the permit, is to have guys dress up like FS employees with look alike FS vehicles. If you are playing a character in a movie then they can't charge you for impersonating an LE officer. :-) Then you stop people and film their reactions when they can't hunt where they thought they could. Mainly the d-bag who wants the NF as their own playground and keeps everybody else out. You tell them under the MVUM plan the road is closed, hand them a map and turn them around. Instant satisfaction and you know what happens.
Looking at it the a-hole finally got the forest where I killed my first deer completely shut down to motorized vehicles. We were having this problem 35 years ago.
78cj.. what unit are you talking about?
ohiohunter--Let me send you a PM with the exact location so it won't be on here forever. Let me just say I believe it is 21A.
Greetings. My tough as nails uncle used to say, "almost any pronlem can be fixed....it is just a matter of how far you are willing to go to get it done."
A few thoughts....many states have a "private attorney general" statute. If so, a lawyer doing something for the benefit of the citizens at large (normally it's something small which the attorney general doesn't have the time or manpower to handle) can ask the court to either have the State pay his/her fee....or the oppsing party. The State clearly has an interest in keeping public lands open to the public. You could sue for an injunction (an order) prohibitting The landowner from blocking a public road and/or ordering him to fix the road that he's damaged . If there is a fee provision as I mentioned in New Mexico perhaps this is something you could consider, especially if you have a friend that's also a Hunter snd a lawyet.
You can also perhaps sue him in small claims court for nusance. Then, immediately notify the media of the pending lawsuit re a rancher blocking access to public land I bet if it is reported in the local newspaper or even your local Internet community, I bet you get a lot of community support and perhaps even other people who are willing to help you. Pictures from a time stamp camera....or even that day's newspaper are helpful.
It sounds like he is running a business out of his house, and That can come with all sorts of pitfalls. For example, he may not have Worker's Compensation insurance for his guides. He may not be complying with state and local rules regarding withholdings and paying Social Security for his employees try your state "department of fair labor" and uninsueed employer's fund. Have you reported/complained IN WRITING. EMAILS can be ignored. A good old fashion hardcopy letter ....addressed to the very top person at that agency....like state lands....will generally be passed from the boss down to a supervisor and then down to an employee ....who id told, " please try to resolve this issue so this guy doesn't keep writing our boss." Phone calls go nowhere. Why? Because if you later say "I called 18 times to r eport x,y,z".....they say what? That is correct...." we have no record of your calls or a complaint. I'm actually positive we would've taken some immediate and swift action had you called in so .......(they don't usually say it directly but they're insinuating you're lying ) so send it in writing
The other thing that I have found , shich sometimex will work to resolve neighbor issues is.....direct communication. The land owner block in the land sounds like a pretty confident guy who may even be somewhat of a bully. So when you talk to him just speak directly and firmly with him and he will actually respect that. For example you go to talk to him and you tell him that you know it's a public road and he does not have the right to lock the gate you were hoping to resolve The situation before the two of you go to war. Now all you really want is access. So what about if you say give me a key if he says no I would remind him that he can give me the key now and that's the end of the issue or, if not you're going to go home and start contacting every possible agency and complaining in writing and you're not only going to complain about the dude you're going to complain about his guides are taking people off his ranch to hunt when he may or may not have permission to take animals on land outside of his ranch ..... and you're going to go on the neighborhood website and tell everybody what he is doing which you know he's doing on other roads so that all the neighbors can get together to pull their time money and resources to take him on collectively rather than individually. If he has half a brain he will say I'll drop a key off tomorrow morning. if not, it is time for you to teach him the art of was. Scorched earth. No surrender. No quarter. Because if you don't then he will start doing other things even more aggressive. These are all my thoughts and opinions and that's not to be considered legal advice. Please see your favorite lawyer and contribute to his kids' college fund by running all of this by him and paying him for an hour of his time.
the forest guys dont do law enforcement....bitch to the people that can write a citation for trespassing....that would be the sheriff and nmdgf....if i was sure with gps that the lock was on public i would cut it...im an old hunter/cowboy...i know these guys...they will push you until you push back