Fourteener Access Issue Makes Front Page of NY Times

Private property access restrictions to Colorado Fourteeners made the front page of the New York Times on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2005.

The focus on the Fourteeners was a small part of the article about a bill that passed the House by two votes that would permit people with mineral claims on public property to be allowed to gain ownership of the property outright.

Concerns about the private property issue prompted the the Forest Service earlier this year to issue warnings about Mount Democrat, Mount Lincoln, Mount Bross and Mount Cameraon in Park County near Denver unless hikers have permission from landowners who acquired the access routes through old mining claims.

The bill as written would allow the claims to go forward even if the minerals were mined out. Many are concerned that resort operators would use the claims to build new resorts.

Officials say the bill would restrict such actions.