Gloria James: Humble outrage

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I am outraged by your article titled “Judges support Humble Ranch” that appeared in the March 24 Steamboat Today. I think it is biased against the Trousils and Humble Ranch. Humble Ranch is not a dude ranch; it is an education and therapy center, which the article mentioned in only one sentence. In the past, the Steamboat Today has printed many excellent articles about the work Humble Ranch does, but none of that information was used. As a former volunteer (for five years) at the ranch, I know firsthand what excellent work they do. They have served hundreds — probably over a thousand by now — clients in Northwest Colorado.

Since I am not affiliated with the ranch now, I would be considered part of “the public.” I see no reason whatsoever why I should have access to their property — much less to expect to use a cabin on their land — especially if it might interfere with their therapy programs.

Each therapy session requires a great deal of concentration on the part of all involved. It would be extremely distracting to have people trooping or riding by while therapy is in session.

I think you owe Humble Ranch an apology, and you owe the public a clear, unbiased explanation of the issues. You might try quoting from the judges’ ruling.

Gloria James

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Mike Lawrence 4 years, 8 months ago

Hi Gloria, Thanks for the letter and your thoughts. Regarding your last sentence, I could not quote the judges' opinion in this case because the Colorado Court of Appeals designated that opinion as unpublished. The copy of the opinion I received is "provided for private use and is not to be included in an electronic database or otherwise published," the court stated. "Citation of unpublished opinions is forbidden," the court continued, with limited exceptions including "to explain the case history or to establish the doctrines of law of the case." Contact me anytime if you'd like to talk further.

All the best,

Mike Lawrence Reporter, Steamboat Pilot & Today 970-871-4233 mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 8 months ago

The public funds paid for land preservation + trails and the money back in 99 paid far the land preservation far more than the trails.

I do not believe that the history of this disputes supports the suggestion that the owners took the money expecting to not provide public access to these trails. It is my recollection that in the meetings to come up with a trail management plan or whatever it was called, that the City said bike trails and the property owners said foot and horse trails because bicyclists flying through would fundamentally interfere with Humble Ranch. And then the dispute has escalated from there with both sides trying to use the contract language to maximize their rights.

Unfortunately for the City, the specific contract language does requires that the owners build a cabin before the public has a right to access the 5 trails in dispute. So guess what, the owners are not going to build or allow others to build that cabin.

The City can continue to fight this apparently hopeless lawsuit (when a judge says verbal promises does not trump specific contract language then that is hard to expect winning at appeals) which can be expected to ensure the owners continue to maximally protect their legal rights which includes keeping the trails closed.

Or the City can concede the hopeless legal fight and turn it into into a public relations situation and ask the owners to open the trails at least under conditions that the owners once claimed was their understanding of the verbal promises. If the owners fail to do that then the public can decide if it is a good idea to try to sway the property owners by hurting special needs kids by not donating to Humble Ranch.

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Scott Wedel 4 years, 8 months ago

"Tell us which legal firms are involved while you're at it. The Humble Ranch clearly has a good one."

And the City clearly has a bad one?

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mtroach 4 years, 8 months ago

I'm a mountain biker and fully belive that bike and hiker/horses can share the trail without conflict, but understand the reluctanct attitude of the Humble ranch to allow bikes full access to their property by the public. I further belive that the Humble ranch is shooting itself in the foot by turning it's nose up at the one organized user group that has the ability to raise money, and volunters to adjust the trail to better control users so that dangeous conflicts can be deminished. That group is the Routt County Riders. The RCR is the only group raising money to build and maintain trails on the BLM's side of Emerald, and with the help of the Rotary this year will have raised close to $50,000 for trail building and maintenance on the BLM's Emerald parcel. If the real sticking point of this trail easement is bike acess, that's easily managed, and with proper trail design, all users can enjoy a positive experence while using the Humble Ranch's protected property. What if bikes are only allowed up the trail, or on even/odd days? If the Humble Ranch want's to turn it's back on the biggest user group in the valley, and the only one that has a verified ability to raise money to improve public lands for all users, so be it. If in fact the Humble Ranch is not willing to consider any bike access, I feel the city should get a public access agreement that excludes bike access. The BLM has already excluded bikes from 2/3's of it's property, noone seemed to be too disturbed about that loss of access, let's just let the access be for foot and horse traffic, and get our city off the back of the Humble Ranch. That way at least someone wil be able to use the property's access, and the city can stop spending good money on this fight.

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Fred Duckels 4 years, 8 months ago

George, I think we need to look at the folks that made this deal, we are big boys. This much money should have been spent with caution. You can't take good intentions to the bank.

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greenwash 4 years, 8 months ago

Ed doesnt have the money to give back now...Duh. He spent it to build his mega mansion on cattle drive.

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1999 4 years, 8 months ago

WOW!!!

so now the order of the day seems to be to negotiate with liars and theives.

GREAT!

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