Ed and Cheri Trousil: Humble explanation

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Trust and vision only can be shared between two parties where there is underlying mutual respect. The city of Steamboat Springs’ perception of “trust and vision” does not entitle the city to bully a landowner into unconditional public access across private property, or to ignore wildlife closure dates in order to provide year-round recreational access. In our case, the city even extended its intent to trespass by stating that it had the right to build a cabin on Humble Ranch lands without the owner’s consent. Is building a cabin on somebody else’s property called “trust and vision”? I hope not. That is why we were forced to file suit. Fortunately, the District Court and the Court of Appeals ruled in our favor, finding that the city did not have the right to build a cabin on our property without our consent.

In our deal, Great Outdoors Colorado purchased the development rights on 1,200 acres of land. In other words, the right to build 45 homes on the south flank of Emerald Mountain was extinguished even though the lands still belong to the Humble Ranch. GOCO did not allocate any funds to purchase a cabin site or public trails. In addition, the city of Steamboat did not pay anything to the owners of Humble Ranch.

Not all GOCO-funded projects are public properties. Even today, GOCO continues to use some of its funding to purchase development rights from landowners to protect wildlife habitat and scenic vistas. In many of these cases, the lands remain private. The acquisition of the Yampa Valley Land and Cattle Ranch was an incredibly complex project that involved private and public participation to successfully preserve wildlife habitat, hay pastures and public access to more than 2 miles of the Yampa River.

Like many of you, we embrace the scenic vistas and wildlife habitat of the Yampa Valley. During the past 10 years, we have extended our love and good fortune by sharing our ranch with those adults and children with special needs through the Humble Ranch Education & Therapy Center. Even today, we continue to vigorously protect wildlife habitat and the conservation values of our lands. And lastly, we would like to thank all community members who have supported us throughout the years.

Ed and Cheri Trousil

Steamboat Springs

Comments

mtroach 5 years ago

Thanks for coming out and addressing not leaving this issue to the forum pundits. What about the belief that a trail easement for public use was one of the stipulations of the the deal that brought you the money from GOCO? If bike access is the only outstanding issue, can I hike on parts of the Humble Ranch? If so where?

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Mr. and Mrs. Trousil,

Open the trails. Nothing less will do. You took nearly a million dollars of public money and ten years later have provided no public access. Your clever litigation continues to bleed the public.

How can you slap yourselves on the back instead of apologizing to this community?

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Who is the bully? Here is a web site where people can read the trail easements you signed and decide for themselves.

http://www.humbleranch.info

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Ken Reed 5 years ago

Thanks for the info George, what a farce.

farce: humorous play in which the plot depends upon a skillfully exploited situation rather than upon the development of character

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Clearsky 5 years ago

Easements! Let us pass through! Or maybe we'll just have to start putting in roads like every where else. When it comes to freedom of auto travel anything goes yet for non motorized passage well hold everything! Come on we really need to address the true meaning of No Trespassing versus just passing through. Take this to the Supreme court and ask them to tell the difference between trespassing and passing through! It is not the same.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Yes, the Humble Ranch Conservation turned into a farce if not an outright tragedy.

Has this man no shame? How can he write "the city even extended its intent to trespass by stating that it had the right to build a cabin" while he smirks? The city is trying to make good its easements so they will the serve the public as intended - nothing more or less. Mutual respect my eye. The only thing Ed Trousil respects is his own bankroll and massive ego.

Please - if you volunteer or donate to the Humble Ranch, please call or write Ed and Cheri today and tell them you won't be associated with this despicable theft of public dollars. Tell them you'll be back when they come to their senses, honor their easements, and, whether they build the infamous "Community Cabin" or not, they open the trails.

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Scott Wedel 5 years ago

Dear Ed and Cheri Trousil: As part of your purchase you agreed to trail easements on the Humble Ranch property. It is clear from the City's actions, the lawsuit and your letter that there is a dispute regarding under what conditions the trails should be used.

Can you please say under what conditions you open the trails to the public?

Thank you.

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robert nestora 5 years ago

its really simple mr and mrs trousil, if your not happy with the agreement give the money back. dont hide behind lawyers and double speak. let the public enjoy what they paid for. you are an embarrassment to steamboat springs why dont you just move somewhere else.

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

Ed, Personal attacks are a way of life for many bloggers, hang in there.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Did you read the easements Fred? Nothing personal about signing the easements, taking a million dollars, and then blocking the public access, is there?

If you are Ed's friend, why don't you ask him to join the community instead of taking advantage of it?

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

George, I read the material but the judge must see it differently, if you are right it would probably be overturned.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Fred, This isn't over. This judge ruled that the Trousils have the right to build the cabin at their discretion. That begs the question of whether there was value in the easement to begin with.

Say you bought a piece of property. After signing the documents, transferring the money, the seller prevents you from accessing the property. Yes, you own it but it will be conveyed to you at some distant time uncertain, maybe never. Admit that you'd say "I've been cheated."

Instead of "Hang in there Ed" say "Ed, this is bad. Go for the win-win solution. You've got what you were promised. Hang the cabin and the legal technicalities. Give the public their access."

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Scott Wedel 5 years ago

I think that the Trousils clearly have a moral obligation to offer to open the trails under whatever conditions they believed they accepted when they signed the easement agreement. Their letter fails to mention that they had signed an easement agreement and thus fails to address the very serious point of what they expected would be the result of that trail easement.

They have won the ability to keep the trails closed as long as they do not allow the cabin to be built. If it was always their intent to keep the trails closed by not allowing the cabin to be built then they should say that.

If, as was an issue in the lawsuit, they want the trails seasonally closed to protect wildlife then they should offer to open the trails during the summer when DOW says it is fine. If they have an issue with bikes then they should offer open the trails to hikers and horses.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Scott, Since Ed signed easements specifically identifying bike riders as beneficiaries, why should he be able to cut them out now?

Look at the "Vision" page I added to http://www.humbleranch.info These trails were intended to connect to the trails on Emerald Mountain and are an ideal, historically used bike route. The easements were purchased to cure the conflicts.

I completely agree with your first point. They have a moral obligation to open the trails.

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Scott Wedel 5 years ago

George, He is currently legally able to cut everyone out now. My point is that while he won in court to keep the trails closed, he also signed the easement. Thus, if he can send a letter to the editor then he should explain what he thought he was signing and give whatever access he thought he was granting via the easements.

I think their letter to the editor is a bit disingenuous because they respond to only some of the historical facts. Okay, public did not buy a park and doesn't have the right to build a cabin on someone else's property. But the letter failed to address the fact that he signed a trail easement. If he can explain the side issues then he should explain the central issue.

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mtroach 5 years ago

Personally I would rather no cabin be built. A cabin would serve as an attraction for users and that's not what is wanted. Access to the BLM's 4000 acre public holding and the great trailnetwork the RCR and the citizens of Routt county are building is all I thought this easement issue was about. The trails already exist, and access should be allowed, or a better explaination from the Humble Ranch should come out. Even if its from the lawyers.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

The cabin was probably a decoy from the start. It's hard to over-estimate the Trousil's cynicism and lack of good faith. How does Ed complain about a lack of mutual respect when he's received his $1 million, acting like he and Cheryl are pillars of the community, while the public stands at the locked gate?

I can't tell you (literally) how many people approach me with thanks for setting-up the web site. Lawyers and judges may have had their day but the public is just getting the clue. Here are some things I've heard -

  • Just ride the darned trails. Trousil can fight this battle one bike at a time.
  • When is the next Humble Ranch fundraiser? We'll be there! :-)
  • Picket the ranch. Let people coming to the therapy program know that they are being used to justify the public swindle.
  • "Trousil" is a verb that means filling-up at the public trough while flipping the public the bird, as in "Steamboat expected getting trousilled again by the 700."

Others aren't so nice and probably not appropriate to share but "tea party" comes to mind.

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robert nestora 5 years ago

thank you george your website is great presentation of the facts. hopefully it can be seen by more than the people who comment here. maybe you can start a fund to buy an ad in the pilot so more people can get the info. you know the pilot will have nothing to do with it, your not a developer.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

You're welcome Robert. Knowing that people are looking at the information is encouraging.

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Karen_Dixon 5 years ago

George - your map shows the trails in yellow, but does not depict the different sections. If I have read your uploads correctly, it appears that there are 2 easements & 1 of them is divided into 6 sections referred to as "Primitive Mountain Easements 1-6". Do you have a map that graphically breaks out the total of 7 sections of these easements? I would be interested in seeing that on your website if you have it or could quickly generate it. If I've missed it, please point me in the right direction. Thanks.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

I'm sorry Karen, I do not have a map that breaks that out and I don't know offhand how to generate it. You may be able to obtain this information from the Yampa Valley Land Trust, yvlt@yvlt.org. You may also be able to contact the organization named as the easement grantee.

If you obtain this information, please let me know and I'll be happy to add it to the website. I welcome all information that people have on this matter.

Thank you for looking at the site and, of course, you're welcome.

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Karen_Dixon 5 years ago

Thanks for the reference George & for posting as much info as you have.

I'm not taking sides on this one. However.... I must grin at the irony. In the city's haste to gobble up development rights & prevent development in favor of recreational land, it overlooked a very simple & straightforward clause that allows the LACK of development to prevent it from recreating on that land. (albeit the development is a small cabin - but still, it makes me laugh.)

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Worth hitting the post comment button twice, don't you think?

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mtroach 5 years ago

Where do the Routt county Riders stand on this issue? This seems a prefect place for an active users group to step up and bridge the gap between users and government. Thanks to George for keeping the public informed about the specifics of this debockle. If only the city had done a better job of informing the public of this, What's up with the city contacting lawyers to sue before informing the public of it's intent to bring suit?

Please Pilot do another story on this matter so that the public can be made aware of this issue and where the interrested parties stand on the issues. Spelling out those isues would be a good place to start. Why does a blogger have to do your reporter's job?

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Routt County Riders live and work in the community. Some manage high dollar mansions for a living. They are into promoting and riding their bikes, not nasty political scrums with a guy who may not be worthy of trust but who is neither stupid, incapable, nor lacking in resources.

Honestly, I'm dumb as a stump to be doing this. It must be my my way of saying "Help!"

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

George, You seem ;to be giving Steve Lewis a breather.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

You got that right Fred. My pomposity and arrogance needed an outlet.

Plus, I want people to know how we got trousiled at Humble Ranch.

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Fred Duckels 5 years ago

George, I think that you and Ed need to go camping together.

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George Krawzoff 5 years ago

Sure, we can sing "Rocky Mountain High" around the campfire. Never having met Ed, I don't have anything against him other than his mistreatment of our community.

Here's an offer - when the Trousils open the trails and get the ranch remainder parcels under conservation easements, I'll convert http://www.humbleranch.info into a celebratory site that promotes their good works and turn it over to them.

Since the Trousils began the litigation against city, where I'm a citizen, I really don't see much good in trying to talk to him one on one. I assume his letter accurately reflects his lack of concern about the public so what's the point?

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