New owners on upper South Boulder Creek - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 11-04-2011   #1
 
Golden, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
New owners on upper South Boulder Creek

I recently found out, the hard way, that the land above the private fishing club, Lincoln Hills, was purchased up to Rollinsville by that club. I ran into the owner ( Matthew Burkett) while out fly fishing, as I have been doing for the past 20 years. The encounter went from bad to worse and he was very clear that anyone that was on the property would have the Gilpin County Sheriff called and the club would actively prosecute the violators. Matt was very aware of Colorado water laws and of course it is fine to boat through the property but once on the bottom of the river bed or on the shore boaters will be arrested. Thus swimming or scouting are illegal, and he is sure to prosecute in those instances.Two years ago there was a large tree that spanned the entire river below the last major drops. I did look and the tree had been cut at the base and was purposefully dropped into the river (he had no comment on that when I brought it up during our encounter), thus creating an unavoidable hazard. I hope more of these hazards don't occur in the near future. My encounter eventually ended in another meeting with a '
"security" guard and finally with a Gilpin County Sheriff (the sheriff was by far the most reasonable of my encounters).
Since this time I began asking more questions of the locals on in the South Beaver Creek area and across the river from Lincoln Hill club. They are currently fighting battle after battle for the land on the opposite side or the creek and the club is claiming ownership of both sides of the river, and erecting fences along the river and around structures that have been owned and maintained for over 50 years by these local people.
So the point to all this is in November I have been asked to be a part of a deposition for one of the landowners, and as a kayaker I would like more input from other boaters as to any incidents that may have occurred over the past two years on this section of river. These may be related to access or safety, or any other concerns for the future of boating in this area.
Thanks for your feedback.

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Old 11-04-2011   #2
 
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West of Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 684
Wow! I paddled this several times this year. I even spoke with the security guard on a scout out of my boat on their property of the bridge rapid. This drop was wierd from when Dirk Larsen did the initial excavating. Then the rock facade was ripped off the bridge this year during high water. Gannon ripped his boat on it one day, so I portaged it the next time in front of them and spoke with the guard with no problem. I did notice last weekend that they cleaned out the whole bridge drop.

He says he own the property above the tunnel too? I thought that was railroad owned property on the North side above the tunnel to Rollinsville?

I live in Ned, when and where is the deposition, I would like to attend? I am also going to start asking some questions around town to see what else I can learn.
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Old 11-04-2011   #3
 
Longmont, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2002
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 25
This is the Alto-Alto run is it not?

So they bought up the entire canyon all the way up to rollinsvile? that sucks...

I know one of the bridge drops in he lower part of the run has something sharp in it (like rebar). There were some ripped boats and posts about it earlier this year. A couple of us quickly portaged around that particular drop and the landowners didn't look too pleased, but they didn't hassle us.
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Old 11-05-2011   #4
 
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Drake, Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2010
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As a landowner, I figure that the kayakers are more than welcome to come through my property.

I live on the Big Thompson and lease my both-sides river access to Rocky Mountain Angling club. They take the reservations & the fishermen just show up - we don't know their names unless we go say hello, and then not usually last names. About 3 years ago there was this really tall fisherman who seemed to be taking more pictures than doing any fishing, and he wanted a detailed tour of the rental cabins, which is rare for a first-timer because they are usually too busy fishing.

A week later he's back with his fishing club partner who owns a fishing guide company not respected by the fishing guides I talked to, giving me a spiel about dumping my current fishing club and putting my property into the Lincoln Hills Fishing Club. The tall guy (6'10") was Keith Van Horn, now retired from the NBA.

They would stock the river with giant trout the size of 2 by 4s, and pay me $12,000 up front for one season plus a signing bonus - more of a cash lease than my current sharing the rod fee arrangement, and a ton more money than I now bring in.

I forget now what it cost to join that club. I think it was something like those fancy country clubs where you leave the membership rights to your heirs, and the initiation fee was around $25,000. Anyhow, thousands more than Rocky Mtn Angling, which charges $500 to join plus $95 a year.

Would I see Hummers in the parking area instead of Outbacks and Honda Civics? Would I have celebrities fishing my river? Look out the window and it's Michael Jordan slipping on a rock in the river?

I didn't like these pushy guys. There is more to a good life in the mountains than making a bunch of money off the natural resources and brushes with greatness. The clients would probably be high-maintenance - not picking up after themselves, unhappy with the simplicity of the cabins, and expecting who knows what, like maybe not letting kayakers use the water. So I declined and feel like I've dodged a business relationship with Satan.
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Old 11-05-2011   #5
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Unincorporated Douglas County, Colorado
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Thanks for posting your story. We need more people like you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by troutbend View Post
As a landowner, I figure that the kayakers are more than welcome to come through my property.

I live on the Big Thompson and lease my both-sides river access to Rocky Mountain Angling club. They take the reservations & the fishermen just show up - we don't know their names unless we go say hello, and then not usually last names. About 3 years ago there was this really tall fisherman who seemed to be taking more pictures than doing any fishing, and he wanted a detailed tour of the rental cabins, which is rare for a first-timer because they are usually too busy fishing.

A week later he's back with his fishing club partner who owns a fishing guide company not respected by the fishing guides I talked to, giving me a spiel about dumping my current fishing club and putting my property into the Lincoln Hills Fishing Club. The tall guy (6'10") was Keith Van Horn, now retired from the NBA.

They would stock the river with giant trout the size of 2 by 4s, and pay me $12,000 up front for one season plus a signing bonus - more of a cash lease than my current sharing the rod fee arrangement, and a ton more money than I now bring in.

I forget now what it cost to join that club. I think it was something like those fancy country clubs where you leave the membership rights to your heirs, and the initiation fee was around $25,000. Anyhow, thousands more than Rocky Mtn Angling, which charges $500 to join plus $95 a year.

Would I see Hummers in the parking area instead of Outbacks and Honda Civics? Would I have celebrities fishing my river? Look out the window and it's Michael Jordan slipping on a rock in the river?

I didn't like these pushy guys. There is more to a good life in the mountains than making a bunch of money off the natural resources and brushes with greatness. The clients would probably be high-maintenance - not picking up after themselves, unhappy with the simplicity of the cabins, and expecting who knows what, like maybe not letting kayakers use the water. So I declined and feel like I've dodged a business relationship with Satan.
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Old 11-05-2011   #6
 
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Breckenridge, CO, Colorado
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Yep I would say you have indeed!! Glad for you.
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Old 11-05-2011   #7
 
SW, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 90
Troutbend, thank you! Although I do not plan to paddle any of the referenced places, it bothers me that so much access all over the country has been blocked due to private high-dollar fishing clubs buying corridor land.

You should've heard the local from Afton (near the ID/WY border) bitterly describing how anybody who wasn't at the Orvis resort could no longer fish prime waters there. Orvis paid off the farmers so well that they all caved to the lure of money.

The violent extent to which some of these resorts will take it is criminal.
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Old 11-11-2011   #8
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
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Good conscience Troutbend!...Van Horn sucked in the pros anyway,next Larry Bird my ass.Doleac and Miller turned out better....thats one lanky bastard
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Old 11-11-2011   #9
 
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Glenwood Springs, Colorado
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Huh. According to their website, the Lincoln Hills club also has 'preservations' on the Saint Vrain (near a heron rookery?), South Saint Vrain near Lyons, and upper Bear Creek near Mt. Evans.

Any property owner experiences on those sections?
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Old 11-11-2011   #10
 
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by glomme View Post
I recently found out, the hard way, that the land above the private fishing club, Lincoln Hills, was purchased up to Rollinsville by that club. I ran into the owner ( Matthew Burkett) while out fly fishing, as I have been doing for the past 20 years. The encounter went from bad to worse and he was very clear that anyone that was on the property would have the Gilpin County Sheriff called and the club would actively prosecute the violators. Matt was very aware of Colorado water laws and of course it is fine to boat through the property but once on the bottom of the river bed or on the shore boaters will be arrested. Thus swimming or scouting are illegal, and he is sure to prosecute in those instances.Two years ago there was a large tree that spanned the entire river below the last major drops. I did look and the tree had been cut at the base and was purposefully dropped into the river (he had no comment on that when I brought it up during our encounter), thus creating an unavoidable hazard. I hope more of these hazards don't occur in the near future. My encounter eventually ended in another meeting with a '
"security" guard and finally with a Gilpin County Sheriff (the sheriff was by far the most reasonable of my encounters).
Since this time I began asking more questions of the locals on in the South Beaver Creek area and across the river from Lincoln Hill club. They are currently fighting battle after battle for the land on the opposite side or the creek and the club is claiming ownership of both sides of the river, and erecting fences along the river and around structures that have been owned and maintained for over 50 years by these local people.
So the point to all this is in November I have been asked to be a part of a deposition for one of the landowners, and as a kayaker I would like more input from other boaters as to any incidents that may have occurred over the past two years on this section of river. These may be related to access or safety, or any other concerns for the future of boating in this area.
Thanks for your feedback.
Check your PM.

There's a reason why the Sheriff Deputy was more reasonable. I, too, would like to know if there's been other incidents or citations, especially, if they are actively ongoing, for criminal trespass and/or on other natural streams throughout Colorado.

As of September 16, 2011, a new river access mediation Colorado state commission has been formed to settle disputes. Rancher Lee Spann, Colorado Department of Natural Resources and rafting outfitter and former Colorado Rafting Outfitters Association President Bob Hamel are on the Commission. Contact Colorado Dept of Boards and Commissions if you feel that alternative may be agreeable to both disputing parties for resolution.

Are there photos of this river section showing what you mentioned in your original post?

There's a big difference between the rights to use and access the up land and the bed land. There are also Colorado statutes about harassment, obstruction of highways and placing fences, etc where they ought not to be placed. And etc...

If the private interest acts within his rights, that's fine. If the private interest acts outside their rights in an intimidating, bullying manner, that's not fine.

Richard
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