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 4 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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Ken Reed 4 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 4 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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Scott Wedel 4 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 4 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 4 years ago

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

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Fred Duckels 4 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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Scott Wedel 4 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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Scott Wedel 4 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 4 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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robert nestora 4 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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Karen_Dixon 4 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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Karen_Dixon 4 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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mtroach 4 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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Fred Duckels 4 years ago

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

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Fred Duckels 4 years ago

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

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