Roads in De Beque reopened after court ruling

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Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 1:34 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has rejected a ranch’s second attempt to prevent public access to roads.

High Lonesome Ranch has attempted to prohibit access to North Dry Fork and Middle Dry Fork roads near De Beque. The ranch had locked a gate within the boundary of its property prohibiting access to the public roads during its appeal to the court.

“The ranch has not met its burden for a stay pending appeal,” the court ruled on Sept. 2, 2021. “Accordingly, we lift the temporary stay entered on Aug. 20, 2021, deny the ranch’s renewed motion for a stay, and deny as moot the ranch’s emergency motion.”

The year before on Dec. 22, U.S. District court Judge Brooke Jackson issued a ruling in favor of Garfield County confirming the roads are public. The ranch has appealed the Dec. ruling.

The roads provide access to roughly 50,000 to 90,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management public lands.

“It is important that the public knows the roads are open,” said Garfield County Attorney Tari Williams. “We want to eliminate any confusion that may have been caused by the ranch’s effort to prevent the public from being able to use these roads to access these lands so close to hunting season.”

The ranch has unlocked the gate, allowing hunters and public access to the public lands beyond the ranch.

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