Originally Posted by durangoyaker
Colorado does have some intricate laws about property. "Prescriptive easements" are easememts that come about when someone openly uses another's property for so many years (with neither permission or prohibition from the actual landowner) that a right is established. Check Wikipedia's definition of prescriptive rights and adverse possession for more info. Seems to me boaters have been using the land on river left to scout Number 5 for at least 30 years. I think the period of continuous "open, public, notorious and hostile" use of another's property is 17 years in Colorado. Like the law or not, it is used regularly mostly by one land owner against another landowner- like when a fence line is off a perty line and assume to be the actual property line. I wonder if the public does not have a claim of a prescriptive right since they have been using this land for decades? Any CO lawyers got any input?
Along with looking at prescriptive easements, you may want to look at portage "easements by way of necessity" for Colorado (older link but still applicable, though). See both and other easements at:
and also look at
"Public Water Users" and/or "Public Water Owners" is a more descriptive term than "boaters", as it includes every public user/owner, such as wading fishermen and boaters. It also differentiates from "Private Land Owners" quite well.
Portage/Scouting easements are easements opposite those of Trespassing and contentious issues. Better than judicial proceedings, legislative clarifications of existing law or creations of new law concerning portage/scouting can help with your questions about 5. Cooperation is best of all options but only solves the individual situation. Portage by necessity, if a court situation arises, is probably an easier path than prescriptive easements, however, and what constitutes "obstruction" and/or "hazard" also comes into play between the private and public interests.
btw, "Adverse Possession" was going to be used as one of the defenses of the "Right to Float" Cannibal v Gateview case in 2001 down in Lake City, CO and was not precluded as a defense by the court. Boats had been using waterways for many years for commercial purposes. Cannibal just ran out of money and couldn't proceed.