Contributors to this thread:
Corner Crossing Legislation
I have been working with State Rep Brandi Bradley from district 39 in drafting legislation to take all the gray area out of corner crossing so that a person can't be given a ticket. If you would like a copy of the current draft you can send me a personal message with your personal email and I'll send you a copy. There is no URL link yet as it has 1 or more drafts to go. We would like people to testify at the committee hearing when it happens sometime before May 8th. If you can testify in support on behalf of an organization that would be helpful.
I appreciate your efforts!
Thanks for sending. I read thru it and am hopeful
PM sent. Thanks for your effort! Would be good to see this Dem legislature do more to benefit hunters.
If this passes and is signed into law, wonder goes much it will cost the state to fight the legal challenges all the way to the USSC? Gets expensive when you start poking at multi-billionaires.
Rep. Bradley is a Republican but I think this will strike a chord with democrats
Thanks for sending this! I applaud your efforts. Two big stumbling blocks you and your sponsor should consider before taking this to committee - the bill as written would force hundreds, possibly thousands of easements across private property without just compensation, effectively imposing eminent domain on hundreds of property owners to benefit a few hunters. It would also force access easements strictly for the purpose of recreation. The USSC has already ruled against both.
You should also think about keeping CPW out of this. Nothing about this bill has anything to do with Title 33 because it doesn't involve hunting or fishing on private property. Instead, the bill attempts to amend CRS-18-4-502 to exempt airspace from trespassing laws. CPW already stays as far from the corner crossing issue as possible, and will likely fight to keep it that way.
What committee will take this on? Hopefully not Ag. Best of luck!!
Lou, if there is no trespass.....touching private property.....only passing over a corner of both private and public property.....then what easement is involved? An easement is only required when actually touching property owned by another and a grant for that contact.
I can see that if I climb over your private fence, that would be trespass and require an easement otherwise. But if I am not touching your fence, I am using a ladder or other tool to cross the fence corner without touching your property, and the airspace is exempted from trespass laws, then I see no easement required.
I wonder what the legal rights are regarding the mutually shared corner post?
I think it would be helpful to clarify the exemption from trespass via airspace is for any lawful purpose, including but not limited to recreation of all types allowed on public ground, including hunting and fishing.
If this "just crossing private airspace" goes through, it will open all kinds of problems. Plus, all the private property owners will have to do, is erect short sections of fence up to, but not on, public property, with too narrow an opening to squeeze through. Or just put the posts on his property with a barrier just a few inches above the ground. Problem solved. If the airspace above his land is not protected, then it's also not protected over the corner on the public land. And how much airspace are you claiming? Enough for a fit person, or a wide body? Can you train your horse to "step over"? Carry a bike over? Yeah right! Maybe make a little jump for your ATV? If you can use a ladder, how about a bridge? After all, it's public land to public land, physically challenged persons will also need to have access. How soon before the worn trail that results becomes public domain?
It's really interesting that "conservatives" are trying to solve an access issue by trampling private landowner rights. I guess socialist policy is only abhorrent when it doesn't benefit you.
This bill proposes that "the individual may use mechanical means to travel over the privately owned land".
Jordan, I understand your point. But from a legal perspective, I believe it will be a reach for a state to enact a law that violates the federally established airspace law, and have it hold up in appeals court.
Plus imagine the cost for air traffic control.........
Here is a weblink to the draft. Not yet introduced and no doubt will have edits, but this is the latest version as of today that I know about.
Once and if it is introduced we can all track its path and changes on the legislature website.
I agree that leaving the CPW out of it would be better. Obviously hunting and fishing are likely the biggest reasons for corner crossing but making it about hunting and adding any burden on the CPW probably doesn't help its chances.
Clarification on corner crossing would be good. It would be a loss to the land owners but a couple 12' posts would stop most people from getting to the public land in a way this bill would allow. So, it's not a giant burden on land owners adamant about preventing people from getting to the public.
" land owners adamant about preventing people from getting to the public." That right there is f'd up.
Jordan, that's true only if you don't understand how we got here.
Back when they were trying to push a railroad across the country, the Federal Government was trying to find a way to encourage the railroads to build high quality track, not just a 'quick and dirty' line across empty land, and the feds owned a lot of land. The way to get the track they wanted was to make it profitable for the railroads. The way to do that was to promote settlements and development that the RR could serve long term. There were compromises that had to be made, and what they came up with was basically a land give away in the form of the checkerboard - alternating public and private. That would necessarily give control of the public parcels to adjacent private. This 'contract' has been in force, largely determining land values, for almost 200 years. Now you want the government to abrogate that contract so you can hunt? That's the very definition of a "takings". The essence of "Big Government" screwing the private citizen. The "public" land in the checkerboard landscape is just an illusion.
Our "public" lands can be, and are, managed for the greatest public good. The checkerboard did that when it was established. It would be unfair now for the Government to say "mission accomplished", we're taking our land back.
At about the same time, for the same reasons, the Government gave away a lot of "our" public land in the form of homestead patents, I suppose you want that land opened to you also.
Just make trespass allowance reciprocal between the BLM and landowners. If a land owner will not allow corner crossing then the blm should not either on that landowner’s boundaries. Only fair for the two landowners to have the same rule.
Bill has been introduced and can be viewed and tracked here. Some new edits as compared to previous version some folks saw.
Would hope CBA and other orgs will get behind it.
They still have the CPW in the middle of this thing. Big mistake. But it's in the Ag committee, so that's where it will likely die.
I plan to fart into the general direction of every corner post I find on public ground. So there! Talk about violating your private air space. LOL
But just in case, I bought a wheelchair.
Well, the bill does allow "mechanical means" to travel over the privately owned land....
I have asthma, Pulmonary Hypertension, and a metal hip. Ready to fill out the ADA paperwork if this thing somehow gets passed into law, so I can use one of those!
It's hard to believe that the federal government doesn't have access to millions of acres of federal land. How can the federal government manage these parcels without access?
If forcing public access would reduce the value of the private property, would that also reduce the property tax to the counties from the private landowner? If it would reduce the property taxes, why would any county or state government be for it? Where I live property taxes are based on the value of the land. If I do something that makes the value go up so does my taxes.
The latest version doesn't say you "need" a wheelchair to use one, just says no vehicle other than a wheelchair.
Might need a tweak on that part.
Aspen Ghost, that's just it. They don't "manage" any of those parcels besides collecting grazing fees and outfitter lease fees, etc., unless they negotiate an easement through them with adjoining landowners. The easement can be for use by USFS personnel or contractors, but not the general public.
What people don't understand is that there are quite a few easements leased or purchased where numbered Forest Roads cross corners and continue on. I legally drive across two checkerboard corners where I sometimes hunt. But the USFS isn't in the business of negotiating easements only for hunting access, which is what this brouhaha is all about.
The committee meeting for this bill, which will be in the agriculture committee, will be on February 13th, room 107 at 1:30. So mark your calendar if gaining access to additional 101000 acres matters to you and come to Denver and voice your opinion at the meeting. I will be there
Bet it will be exciting, since it is in Ag and this is an anti-landowner bill. Keep us posted!
I'm signed up, got my confirmation. I can't wait to testify.
Feb 13 committee hearing. Of note you can sign up to testify remotely via zoom or testify in person!
get signed up
In addition, if you can represent a group such as CBA, trout unlimited, pheasants forever, bha, etc that would be even more helpful.
It would be really helpful if you could muster support from some nonconsumptive groups, so it doesn't appear to just benefit a handful of greedy hunters for whom 75+ million acres to hunt isn't enough, and you "need" that extra 101,000 acres.
Any suggestions would be helpful Jaquomo. I will be part of a meeting tomorrow with nonconsumptive groups but I would have to say hiking groups are also consumptive if that's what you are thinking.
Hikers, bird watchers, photographers, so-called "wildlife viewers", backpackers, cross country skiers, and most traditional bowhunters are all considered "nonconsumptive" by natural resource management peeps because they don't remove and consume the resource. Hunters, fishermen, firewood cutters, etc.. are consider "consumptive" users. Ok, the trad bowhunters reference was a joke.. Sort of...
That first sentence will be at the meeting tomorrow, even cross country skiers.
That's great! Needed their push to make a dent in the perception. Now just have to get past the massive legal challenges if this somehow gets signed unto state law.
The legal challenges wiil be a rodeo for sure.
After this effort is over, since you have a relationship, why don't you float the idea of a bill to permanently remove wildlife management issues from the initiative process. Corner crossing is mice nuts compared to this monster and the potential it has to destroy hunting, especially bowhunting, as we know it in the future. Something like that might actually have a chance of passing.
The Minnesota legislature passed a constitutional amendment to assure the privilege to hunt and fish that was put on the 1998 ballot and was passed by the voters with 77.24% voting in support. The amendment affirmed that hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are a valued part of the heritage of Minnesota and shall be preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.
As of 2020, 23 States have a similar constitutional provision. Colorado is not one of them. Wyoming and Utah do. California and Rhode Island have amendments guaranteeing the right to fish, but not to hunt.
What Jaq suggests is Government taking power from the people. Normally I oppose that direction but it would be a positive in this case. They love taking or keeping power, it may fly.
do you mean like whats going on right now in Montana?
The right to hunt and fish is really a feel-good measure with no teeth. We desperately need to get this out of voters' hands. Next up will be the end of lion amd bobcat hunting.
Since they are never satisfied and have huge California money for campaigns, what will be the ballot initiative after that? Trapping is already gone. Bowhunting may be the low-hanging fruit.
The committee hearing for this bill has been changed to February 27th. Same time probably
Please let us know if the time changes. Thanks for the update. I have a meeting with the County broadband planners at the same time, but really want to tine into this one.
It has been confirmed that the new date for the committee meeting will be on February 27th at 1:30.
How large are these chunks of land? Sounds like some of you that are so against this, have boardering property and want to keep everyone else out. Why would anyone be in favor of keeping public out of public land?
The majority are one square mile checkerboards. Some are larger, some smaller. This isn't "public land", despite what the tshirts say. It is land owned by the federal government, and the federal government hasn't challenged the Supreme Court rulings to enable a few hunters to access at the corners.
We are a nation of laws, and the current laws state that accessing them is illegal. It is up to local jurisdictions to decide whether to prosecute. Some do, and some don't. Many people paid high premium prices for their adjacent property, under current law. There may be two individual property owners at each corner, so both could theoretically prosecute. If the law gets changed in conflict with previous USSC rulings, the USSC will have to rule on it again to exempt the Sitka Army from the Causby ruling when they want to hunt on the other side of the corner. Then there's that pesky 5th Amendment to deal with.
The only real solution is for County Sheriffs to all get together and decide they are not going to prosecute. I really appreciate pronghorn's efforts, but if this were to somehow pass, the state will be flooded with lawsuits, or more likely, a huge class action suit funded by BIG money. No AG wants that. Other states have tried and failed.
And think about it, from the realistic standpoint...how does this benefit the majority of the citizens of Colorado, when only a tiny handful of hunters are demanding such a precedent-setting law that would really piss off some wealthy and influential campaign donors? Why would the state want to go toe to toe in court with super lawyers funded by zillionaire landowners like Ted Turner, John Malone, Louis Bacon, etc..?
So it's fed gov land, illegal to access, only because of the corner crossing law? But it's legal to access it if you have adjoining land? I don't have one of those t-shirts or any Sitka clothing. I'm really just trying to completely understand what is going on here. If it isn't public land, then I don't care. But isn't there plenty of public land that is land locked by private land, including corner crossing blockage?
Yes. In some areas the USFS or BLM purchase easements to cross corners. In other places they outright purchase the private sections of checkerboard to connect the dots. Where I hunt they have done both. But they can't force an easement across a corner for recreation access against the owner's will, according to the USSC.
I forgot to mention that they sometimes sell or trade parcels to adjoining landowners, whether landlocked or not. My two best elk hunting spots, where I learned to bowhunt, were not landlocked but were traded/sold to big adjoining ranches by the BLM.
This year I hunted in two sections that used to be private, but were purchased by USFS to eliminate the checkerboard. I also got permission to hunt a private section in the checkerboard. The hunting sucked on the private.
This is what a typical USFS checkerboard looks like. Each square is a square mile.
Had a great meeting the other day with a bunch of stakeholders at the capital building. Attorney generals Office, CBA, BHA, Farm bureau, CPW, and a bunch of lawyers.
What was the general take on the effort by those in attendance?
Pretty much everybody's for this and didn't really suggest any changes for the most part to the bill. Just minor language and CPW had no problem with the part in there that talks about CPW. Of course farm bureau is jumping out of their skin over this.
I expect the Farm Bureau would be unhappy, and will be riling up their members. Surprised CPW wasn't concerned, since it puts their field officers in the middle of this, where they aren't involved now (intent to hunt). Thanks for the update!
CPW said this legislation was really needed as it clears up a lot of gray area.
This issue needs to are resolved one way or another...
Definitely needs to be resolved. In 2007 when this incident occurred, the BLM position was "there is no federal or state law against corner crossing". Now they've amended it to say, flat out, "corner crossing is illegal".
I just read where the Wyoming BHA chapter had their 2023 Commissioner's raffle tag revoked because of their GoFundMe effort to pay for the defense of the "Elk Mountain Four". That cost them a LOT of money. Besides the legal gray area, there are major politics involved.
I know of a very wealthy owner of a big ranch with a notorious, coveted corner, who will be one of the first to file a suit.
They all will. But the Attorney General's office sitting in on the meeting other day certainly seems like he has no problem with this legislation. So I would say he's ready to fight when it goes to court.
Pronghorn, has there been any discussion about how to deal with the situation where OnX shows the corner, but it is way off due to errors in the County property overlay, but the owner can prove where his corner pin is located from a survey? By CO law a hunter must prove where he is and how he got there. So unless a hunter can find an actual pin, it seems this would create a big legal mess. I sure won't cross a corner unless I can find a pin. Even fencelines aren't close many times.
The Larimer County property overlays are so far off so as to be unusable with OnX. As I've posted on other threads, the OnX property line for my property is off by 180 feet. The red line on the left is the OnX "property line". The green line on the right is the approximation of my actual boundary.
Just using the apps. I would not cross a corner either. I have found plenty of corners though using on X. Not using my phone though. Using a garmin GPS. Everyone in the stakeholders meeting and agreed that it's up to the hunter to know who's property there on so really wasn't much of a concern it seemed. If you can't find a pin and youre caught on the rancher's property then sucks to be you was the consensus I got.
Thanks for the reply. This could get really interesting! The hunter has to prove how he accessed the "landlocked" section if requested by LEO. "Close" only counts in hand grenades.
From the Garmin website: "Garmin® GPS receivers are accurate to within 15 meters (49 feet) 95% of the time." As I read it, this bill doesn't allow any wiggle room.
Too much snow right now for me to check some USFS corners with my Garmin here around home, but I will when it melts, just for kicks. Especially for the two corners I want to cross.
It will be really interesting February 27th and anyone who votes no will be exposed.
Wow Jaquomo- That's crazy- A big difference. I am planning a hunt I've done for years in Unit 20. All of a sudden the update on Hunt OnX changed the boundary on me. IN the past Ive used OnX and the old Garmin. The land owner has a fence up and it was close to the lines on the maps but now its a least 200 yards into the area I always thought was public. Very confusing??!
I wouldn't blame it on the gps apps. They get their info from the county assessors.
Jaq, check your property boundaries on the cpw hunting atlas. It's equally in error.
I was told by a USFS leo that the reasoning for this is the error produced in measurement due to elevation changes. IE: the digital maps are produced from measurements using 2D straight lines instead of accounting for 3D hilly terrain.
Dont quote me on the above because I may have it backwards. It could be the maps are 3d based on the elevation changes and property records are 2D.
The conversation was long ago and I cant remember which.
Here is a screen shot of the county map of my SE corner near my neighbor's house. The blue line is where the county shows it. But the actual property line is the center of the road. As you can plainly see it's not even close. It's off by about 100'. By the way this in unit 20. OnX, and other sources, might be close in flat land. Not so much if it's mountainous.
SBC, that might make sense, but down in Fort Collins where it is flat, OnX shows my garage on my next door neighbor's property. I had to pay for a survey to prove it to the new guy who bought next door.
Lab1, not sure if Ibposted this on this thread, but a friend is about to go to court to fight a 20 point ticket he got last month in unit 20 for a very similar situation.
Jaq, this is because of the error caused by the elevation changes globally. It effects the boundaries locally, even on flat land. The further you get away from the mountains, the less the % error by averaging, but it's still there.
I suppose if a state can legalize pot and psychedelic mushrooms, they can legalize trespassing too.
Jaquomo- I did not see that. UGH 20 point ticket. I'll PM you.
The only way to be sure of accurate private land boundaries defensible in court is to hire a LICENSED surveyor to go on your hunt with you. Surveyor time is pricey, not uncommon to drop 5-10k for a boundary survey, more if the acreage is large.
If you want improve the accuracy of your GPS, here you go. They don't even list prices so you might as well pay for the private land hunt. https://geospatial.trimble.com/products-and-solutions/gnss-systems
Grasshopper those tools are a little heavy handed for what is needed, but there are collectors out there that run onX that give 5-10 inch accuracies all day, and sub 3 feet without trying. I don’t think such accuracies are needed but it’s available.
The problem is two fold, accuracy of the device, and the fact 99% of the new age surveyors ( OnX users) don’t have a clue about property boundaries or how GPS works.
Funny story, I was navigating down a property line this past year pre elk hunt clearing a trail down. I was real close to the line and had my tracks on and was watching the GPS bounce all over. It would bounce over to the private side and back to public but I had little concern that I was on the wrong side. My trail is cut now, and I no longer need tracks to get in and out. I ended up killing a bull in there and the outfitter watched me skirt the line going up and out. I came back for the next load and he was there waiting on me. I figured it was going to be the typical pissing match but of all things he let me go out the bottom which went from a mile pack out to about 300 yds down hill.
good people still exist glad outfitter help out
Representative Luken and Winter have committed to voting no on this bill. So if you wanna go blow up their inboxes like I am I would appreciate it.
I she postponed the Bill? That’s what she posted earlier today
I saw that as well. More time to expose the representatives that only represent .5% of all Coloradans and not the other 99.5%
I just texted representative Bradley and she said she had not officially postponed the bill yet.
Pronghorn, with all due respect, and I mean that, this bill truly represents 4% of Coloradoans (hunters) vs the emotions of the 96% who are property owners and can relate to other property owners.
Let’s up that %.
I support the Bill but can’t support the 5ft opening.
If you want to get the ADA behind this, make the opening 36” (per ADA) as the standard wheelchair is 32”. That alone should get some traction ( no pun intended)
Cnelk have you made known the 36" known to any reps?
No I havent. Ive been reading how the ADA term is being just tossed around without any specifics. Like I mentioned, I support the Bill, but there are definitely some discussion items to be clarified to get more support.
Please contact Rep Bradley by email and phone and let her know the specifics of your ADA concerns or spell them out specifically in an email to me and I'll get them to her. You should have my email. Thank you
Do many privately owned properties lack access? For instance are many 640 acre sections owned by someone who complains they cannot access it? Or are most/all owned in large number with free travel by the property owner from private to “public” to private etc?
Would a law ( local/state/federal?) or requirement that privately owned land have access from public (land/easement/road/?) ,that is easily identifiable, when requested by an the land owner, be passable legislation? Unpopular of course.
Maybe it’s time the “public” land is sold at public auction (or a reasonable swap) in order to raise public funds and eliminate the perception of inaccessible “public” land…. The value of the land would rise and I suspect tax income would outweigh grazing leases.
I’m not condoning just suggesting other options could be considered….
Pronghorn21 - sent you an email.
I believe if specific ADA/Ambulatory wording were inclusive, the Bill would get support [with promotion] from groups like the Wounded Warriors, Disabled American Veterans and the Americans with Disability Act
I have contacted my legislators to support this bill, as well as the 2 legislators above asking them to support. Although this is certainly an uphill battle, hopefully all the stakeholders can become involved so that this bill has a better chance of passing. There is alot of solid opposition to this bill.
Goodnight, read my post above with the checkerboard photo. They already do land swaps, land sales, purchases to connect the checkerboard sections. I read an article that said more than 10,000 property owners in the West border corner of contiguous properties, so this isn't some little thing. Some like to portray it as a few fat rich guys keeping the public out.
Property owners can't drive through National Forest to reach their properties unless an easement has been negotiated or it is a numbered Forest road. Likewise, the USFS negotiates easements for the public to reach USFS land.
Lou, I'm probably missing something but isn't this the one time all the voting population on the front range would be getting on board in our favor? Seems if 9-news aired a piece about our hundreds of thousands of inaccessible acres folks would be all for a change.
An update on this bill. It has a committee meeting on Monday. This will give you an opportunity to speak if you are signed up Or your written testimony will be submitted. The bill will not get voted on because it's going to get laid over. A laid over bill is not a killed bill and allows for more discussions to take place. It will not be receiving a vote by the committee on Monday. Instead it will be voted on in a future session. So if you want to have a skin in the game I suggest you continue to submit your thoughts and speak up on Monday.
Another update: Representative Bradley had a meeting with Governor Polis's policy adviser on Monday and as a result of that meeting, which was very positive, Governor Polis himself will meet with Representative Bradley Monday. In case some of you are not aware, this governor has opened up more public lands than any other governor. I think he would love to open up 101000 more acres through 489 access points for the public land enthusiast.
Great article in the Durango Times on February 22.
Matt, maybe, because recent history shows the Front Range voters to be primarily low-information and moved by media reports. So very possible. But if they looked into it they would quickly learn that the majority of these landlocked parcels are either sagebrush or deadfall lodgepole jungles that loop in around private ranches. Perfect for hunters, but not for granola munching REI hikers who can get lost on a gravel trail in a State Park.
At the core, this is a hunter issue.
I'm still not sure why a law to allow recreational access to State land isn't a priority. That would open up close to a million acres of accessible land (out of 2.3 million total) and give stream access and USFS access where the parcels touch. This should be at the top of the list, and would benefit the public (and hunters) in an exponentially larger way than corner crossing.
Let's just keep adding lands Lou.
HB24-1045(hypothetical): The state trust land blocks are out of whack when it comes to recreation versus agriculture leases. This bill will make it a 50-50 split between ranching and outdoor recreation. Farm bureau would have a absolute heart attack over that but oh well.
Honestly Lou when you look at the map of state trustland with regard to agriculture versus recreation there are quite a few blocks where recreation overlaps agriculture and there really is no logical reason why the whole state can't have each state trust land block be agriculture and recreation. Some of it is landlocked but all those properties that border other public lands or a road should have a dual lease. Maybe this can be your baby for the 2024 legislative session.
Wyoming has the overlap between ag, grazing, and hunting. No reason why CO couldn't do the same, and with less controversy, than corner crossing.
My guess, the way things are going, Be prepared for anti-corner crossing legislation.
We lose. We always lose.
I think you would be surprised with our current governor sbc. To meet personally with representative Bradley I think it shows that he likes the bill and I know the Attorney General likes the bill
This administration is pro public access. Governor Polis has opened up more public lands than any other governor in the history of Colorado. I didn't vote for him because I don't agree with the other 99% of policy he brings to the table.
Honestly probably best for hunter's to play it low key. Get the granola munchers all riled by telling them they're being locked out of their public land by rich old white men and watch them work their whiny magic. Even though 99% have no interest in accessing landlocked properties they'll push this through with their emotions like wolves. Difference being this will actually be beneficial to the public land hunter. I wouldn't mention hunting at all when writing to the reps just come off as a concerned citizen who want EQUAL access for all. Make sure and throw that equality out there sense we know how important it is to them.
Exactly. On Monday if you are going it's probably best to be low key and that's exactly how I will testify at the hearing. The word hunting isn't even going to come out of my out. Instead outdoor recreationalist or enthusiast.
Also I will not be wearing my usual camo hat or any hat for that matter I'll be dressed in my Eddie Bauer j puffer jacket and hiking shoes. Trying to look more like someone that's not a hunter.
I know under Polis more public land has opened up, but also taking into consideration his commission appts, and past and present anti hunting feelings, I dont believe the state of hunting is better than when he took office, especially with the bobcat/mtn lion hunt ban legislation coming back at us.
Dont confuse Polis's token actions with sympathetic feelings towards hunters. The D's dont want to bring this to a vote. It will show their hypocracy on the issue...like public land, hate hunting.
Yes he's been very bad for cpw
Thank you for all the hard work, Kevin! Although the current administration is not good for hunters, second amendment, taxation, illegal aliens, or just overall citizens freedom, they may just be the right ones to get this legislation through for corner crossing.
I would love to see Colorado’s State Trust Lands all open like they are in most other states. Raise the prices of hunting and fishing licenses a few bucks and then charge an access fee for any one else that wants to access state land and they’ll probably make more off of those lands than they do now…
Well we could go a couple avenues in State Trust Land. We could sue the state of Colorado for equal access, legislature, or voter ballot(I hate those btw, totally last resort). Keep in mind that there are already state trust lands leased out for recreation and that money along with all the money from STL leases goes to schools so we'd have to leave those off the table and go for the others and there tons of them.
What happened with this bill? Was it pulled? Any testimony?
Well unfortunately although there was a lot of support for this bill on various hunting pages only 3 of us showed up and gave in person testimony versus about 7 for against. So I guess the lesson here is if you believe in something show up and not stay home. Take off work like I did. So now the bill will be laid over since there was no vote on it today and there will be a couple more stakeholder meetings but you can still email everyone on the committee. Makes me a little leery to put my neck out there in the future for a bunch of hunters who say they support something and then when the rubber meets the road not show up.
To get more public access through a ballot my big question is with a lack of people showing up at the testimony today would people really stand in front of king soopers to get signatures to get more access through corner crossing or state trust land on a ballot. It requires 121000 signatures and I would be concerned that hunters would not volunteer.
A big thanks to BHA for coming out today and testifying in support. I appreciate that and Brandon Sigfried.
You don't stand in front of King Soopers. You hire a signature collection firm to do that. The wolf issue, bear issue, trapping, etc, signatures weren't gathered by concerned antis with purple hair who cared enough to step up.
I believe the official name is a Petition Entity and they are licensed by the State. Blitz Canvassing is a right-leaning one licensed in CO.
So what you're saying glunt at work is a bunch of us get together and pull our money together and hire a group?
"The total cost for qualifying an initiative or veto referendum for the ballot in 2022 averaged $4.08 million".
So yes, it would take a bunch of us. Signature gatherers get paid by the signature. Then there are the legal fees media campaigns, etc.. Not a small or inexpensive task.
So Jaquomo how would you proceed to get STL access here in Colorado since a ballot would cost $4.08 million?
The next best path would likely be hiring a lobbyist to identify the likely legislators who might support it and then get, and keep, the issue in front of them. Also not cheap but not $4 million. I'm totally guessing but probably $100k+/year to get a piece of an effective lobbyist's time.
What Glunt said. This needs to be done through the legislature since it is the State Land Board who controls the land use. A good lobbyist probably costs $300K a year (just guessing). Brandi may be able to advise more. This would likely draw less opposition than corner crossings, but maybe not, since most landowners who lease these trust lands tend to look at them historically as "their" land. But at least it would be free of the legal tar pit.
Why not run a bill that goes way beyond overgrazed state trust lands with no wildlife value?
When future generations passed, we were supposed to have millions of dollars spent annually to create an access program that leases access to both STL, landlocked public and private for hunter access. Director Broscheid made the promise, then left. Director Prenzlow knew the promise, after years, they finally pulled together an access working group, completed that work, and now Prenzlow has left. Currently, there is no one leading or calling the shots at CPW, so nothing gets done - except a wolf plan. I know of two thousand acres of private land that has elk and deer that could be leased for $5 an acre, and it abuts lots of public. I alerted my local CPW reps, and nothing gets done with no leader. Another broken promise from future generations.
If your going to run a bill, why wouldn't you put in place a program that gets 7-8 million acres of private and public like Montana? Are landowners going to object before the legislature around a bill that pays them to voluntarily enroll? They would look stupid if they did.
CPW was at the meeting yesterday and answered questions.
I knew BHA was supporting this, I'm sure they'll come up with a strategy similar to the win in Wyoming.
There wasn't a "win" in Wyoming. One jury in one county decided to go with emotion and ignore precedent. O.J. got off with a stupid jury, but that didn't suddenly make it legal to cut off your ex-wife's head.
And that's the problem here in colorado according to cpw. The officer repeated again what he said at the stake holder meeting when he was at the hearing the other day and that is if you want Corner crossing is inconsistently applied throughout the entire state. He said last year there were eight tickets issued for corner crossing.
I was referring to th public lands and water access legislation in Wyoming, not the court case.
Jacamo- I tired to PM a couple times. Shoot me one on Unit 20 question
Duh.... Rep Winter condensed the problem in one sentence. Does not mean any of them are "anti public land access" as the biased author opined. Voting them out means more Democrats to screw up this state even worse. Democrats have a super majority now. Let's see how many of them push this bill, because they could pass it without one single Republican.
I guarantee if this bill was about LGBTQXYZ access, it would already be on the governor's desk. For hunters, and only hunters, not so much.
Rep Winter's district is overwhelmingly Republican but he can easily be replaced by a Republican hunter like me who believes in corner crossing. Hunters who believe in corner crossing outnumber ranchers in his district who don't. Same thing with Rep. Lukens in the Craig/Steamboat area. She's a democrat who has said she's voting no but can easily be replaced by another democrat or republican in her district that believes in corner crossing. The corner crossing crowd far outnumbers the ranchers/outfitters who don't think corner crossing should be legal.
good piece thanks for sharing
"Two hunters and one hunting group showed up for live testimony in support of the bill".
Where were all the birdwatchers, hikers, campers, fishermen, foragers, who are clamoring for access to these corners? That should tell us something. I wouldn't consider BHA to be a "hunting group".
A legally questionable super-fringe issue for a super-fringe constituency is not a winning political strategy, when going up against influential property owner campaign contributors backed by large farming and ranching organizations.
But hey, go for it. I'll contribute $10 to your campaign!
Something else to consider: within minutes of the signing of this bill, Huntin' Tool, GoHunt, OnX, and all the other hunt-wrecking subscription services will publish a link to "Best corners to cross for deer, elk, and pronghorn, by GMU". Might be a business opportunity to set up a concession stand at some of the more popular corners.
Jaquomo is such a Debby Downer these days :). If it were to gain traction AND once OnX, GoHunt, etc. create their “corner” layers. I sure feel like opening 100,000 acres would help alleviate some of our crowding issues.
I'm a realist, not a wide eyed idealist! ;-)
I watched what happened in the legislatures in WY and MT when they tried to pass this, and the same roadblocks are here. Influential landowner campaign donors and powerful ag lobbies, vs. a handful of ragtag hunters who aren't happy with the 23+ MILLION acres we have access to hunt now in Colorado.
That, and those sticky USSC rulings.
Trust me, I would love to see it happen so I could race all the other guys across a couple corners where I hunt.
It sucks I can't corner cross this year. I'll have to go back to the same spot where I shot my buck 20p yards off the road and my elk about 800 yards off the road. I was hoping this would get through the committee this year so I didn't have to do those easy hunts again. Every corner I have been to has been in some wicked country. Maybe I'll just cross a few this summer with a news crew and beg to get arrested so I can run it through the courts.
^^^ Do it and we’ll start a Go Fund Me account for the defense fund
I will. Hard thing would be to find someone to arrest me since I won't be hunting
I know one where you will get arrested. CPW doesn't respond to them because they can't show intent to hunt. But the county sheriff sure will and the DA prosecutes. If you're serious about it to get busted and prove a point, PM me and I'll give you the coordinates. They have ccx cameras facing every direction so your chances of testing this are pretty good.
I would do it but I would have to make sure I'm not going to get sued or get a felony
Patrick Welsch will be my attorney and of course 9 news and fox 31 there to cover it.
It's misdemeanor criminal trespass. I have talked with the assistant DA who will prosecute your case. You probably won't be sued if you don't hunt on the other side. Give it a shot. You can talk with the Sheriff's department and assistant DA yourself before you make the leap.
Pretty sure the fine is only $130 or something in that range. You would want to do what the guys in WY did, and notify the sheriff before you do it, just to make sure you get cited. Otherwise you might cross when the ranch workers are out fixing fence or something and it would be a big nothingburger for the news crews.
I agree. At corners I want to cross nobody is going to care outside if hunting season so alerting the sheriff ahead of time would be a must.
The AG committee voted 8 to 5 today to approve the task force to work on this bill. I will be on the task force. Had they shot the task force down that would have been the end of this bill. 3 republicans and 2 democrats voted against. The task force is responsible for coming up with ammendments so if you have any please send them my way. [email protected]
The taskforce will meet September to November 4 times. So you'll see this thread pop up again in August.
There's the vote breakdown
YES: 8 Amabile, Bradley, Lindsay, Martinez, Parenti, Story, Titone, McCormick NO: 5 Holtorf, Lukens, McLachlan, Winter T., Catlin
Excellent news! Thanks for your hard work Kevin.
Your'e welcome so take note of the no's and remember to NOT vote for them in the next election and it would be great if those of you who live in their districts could fill up their inboxes. Or run against them. Those are the reps that value ranchers over you the hunter who doesn't own thousands of acres. Those are the reps who think ranchers deserve exclusive rights to your public lands and thinks the rancher should be a gatekeeper.
One amendment that might make it barely more palatable for the opposition would be to impose a really serious fine for crossing anywhere except the EXACT corner. Right now for an unfenced corner it is Third degree trespass, a Class 3 petty offense, only (usually) $130 fine and no points. Quite a few National Forest corners have deadfall or other terrain barriers blocking them. USFS has done zero maintenance on these parcels. Trespassing hunters I used to encounter when I patrolled a ranch would often use the excuse of only trespassing "a little" because of all the downed timber on the other side of the line, or "we were pretty close". Every property owner has stories like this.
another amendment would be to impose lost of hunting license and fine for x amount of years.
I came up with some amendments about 2 weeks ago but we didn't need them but they're along the lines of heavy penalties for trespassing and shooting livestock
Question: Are the corner crossings only where there is a corner monument ? Or any corner is subject?
No Each corner has a coordinate but you might have to do a lot of research just to get that coordinate at the BLM office. There is monuments at every corner I've ever been to with a stake in the ground and sometimes painted white. I guess if there was no steak you better have a $5,000 GPS in your pocket and that coordinate
There may be more USFS corners than BLM in Colorado, and the USFS corners are very desirable from a big game hunting perspective. Many of those, if they exist, are buried deep under pine duff.
I'm not sure of the answer to that as to what public property has more corners because I only hunt BLM land and I can easily spout off about 15 right in my hunting area. All of them are easily jumped over or stepped over and are marked. Onxmaps is unwilling to provide any more information and I was willing to pay them for more answers.