Who Cut the Wood Out?/ We are screwed for Access Right now!
Boys and Girls,
We have a situation! Someone went into Willow Creek with a chainsaw in a white truck maybe? They thought they were doing us a service, and believe me that run was and is log infested. They just screwed us though. That was private property and once you set foot on the bank you are trespassing. The owners are super pissed. They came into back door sports and told Pete Vandercarr that whoever did that just stirred the pot!
There have been issues with these owners before and now they will be cutting down trees to stop us from boating there, laying them access the river. They will be waiting for any boaters that go in there and will have them arrested by the sheriff for trespassing.
Do not cut wood on private land with out asking for permission!!! It sucks but it is the law. We are screwed right now and I have talked to the sheriff and the newspaper. We are working on it. You may get arrested if you try to run it right now. I will post when the situation is more concrete.
Thanks and call paddler magazine here in steamboat and ask for me if you have questions.
You know, if someone tresspassed on his land, then has a legitimate complaint, both civil and criminal. But if he starts chopping down trees over the creek, I wanna see *him* arrested and prosecuted. Believe it or not, we actually have laws about the sort of harassment kayakers have been subject to:
C.R.S. 18-9-107. Obstructing highway or other passageway.
(1) An individual or corporation commits an offense if without legal privilege such individual or corporation intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(a) Obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances, whether the obstruction arises from his acts alone or from his acts and the acts of others; or...
(2) For purposes of this section, "obstruct" means to render impassable or to render passage unreasonably inconvenient or hazardous.
(3) An offense under this section is a class 3 misdemeanor.
And how about this:
C.R.S. 18-9-108. Disrupting lawful assembly.
(1) A person commits disrupting lawful assembly if, intending to prevent or disrupt any lawful meeting, procession, or gathering, he significantly obstructs or interferes with the meeting, procession, or gathering by physical action, verbal utterance, or any other means.
(2) Disrupting lawful assembly is a class 3 misdemeanor.
C.R.S. 18-9-106. Disorderly conduct.
(1) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(a) Makes a coarse and obviously offensive utterance, gesture, or display in a public place and the utterance, gesture, or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace; or...
(c) Makes unreasonable noise in a public place or near a private residence that he has no right to occupy; or...
(f) Not being a peace officer, displays a deadly weapon, displays any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon, or represents verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm.
(2) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under subsection (1) (b) of this section that the actor had significant provocation for his abusive or threatening conduct.
(3) An offense under subsections (1) (a) to (1) (c) of this section is a class 1 petty offense; an offense under subsection (1) (d) of this section is a class 3 misdemeanor; an offense under subsection (1) (e) or (1) (f) of this section is a class 2 misdemeanor.
C.R.S. 18-9-111. Harassment - stalking.
(1) A person commits harassment if, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she:
(a) Strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or
(b) In a public place directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person; or
(c) Follows a person in or about a public place; or...
(h) Repeatedly insults, taunts, challenges, or makes communications in offensively coarse language to, another in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response...
(2) Harassment pursuant to subsection (1) of this section is a class 3 misdemeanor...
I'm sure there are civil causes of action that could follow as well. It's time the bs from these types is dealt with properly. I guarantee you that the cost of going to court is a deterrent, and in some states (don't know about CO) violation of stalking laws can affect your right to keep and bear arms. That one will get their attention.
We have contacted him and are trying to be diplomatic
I appreciate the concern and we are talking to him right now about it. We have contacted his wife and we will work something out. There was a foul committed when some used a chain saw on private land. I have talked to the county deputy and will let him know about the laws you have cited here Caspian. We should be in contact with him tonight about it. Basically the person who cut the log should come forward and apologize. We have someone who knows the land owner personally and we are trying to reason with him.
This is a very touchy subject. I have done some " wood clearing " but this has been an pre-existing situation. He has gotten very pissed before and we will keep everyone abreast to how he feels after he cools off. Most of the boaters in Steamboat know what the deal is and we have maintained mostly a runnable creek with no chainsawing. There are a few places you did have to get out of the boat at. If you boat willow creek do not park in the convenient area, please set shuttle from the takeout of the Elk. Sorry but for now that has got to be the rule. Parking at the end of willow where it merges into the elk is not legal either. I have been yelled at there by Elk Mountain Ranch for parking any where around there. You can park at the elk right at the seed house road. That cuts it down to 10 minutes down the elk before you hit the other takeout.
Thanks everybody and we will get it going for you. It is a great warm-up for the mank we are about to enjoy this season!
Could whoever cut the wood out of willow contact me
We have spoken to the landowner who was very angry. He is slowly cooling down and indicated that if asked, he would have let those guys cut the wood out. He does not hate kayakers but does not like trespassing and cutting of wood he owns. Just treat this guy with respect if you interact with him, he is ex military and has some terrible health problems. A friend of mine knows him personally and has attempted to smooth out the situation. It is still a hot spot! Be low profile if you dare to go up there and do not park right at the confluence. Like I said before there is a legal takeout where the road turns from concrete to dirt. This is only 10 more minutes.
If we have a rush to go up there he might get pissed and act irrationally. We may need to let him cool off.
I realize the Moss broothers are a bit uptight about public access up there, but unless the map I am looking at is wrong it is highly unlikely that wood was cut on private land. According to the Routt County Plat and brand book, the put is BLM, and the rest of the creek is National Forest, except for the last 1/4 to 1/2 mile before the Elk River. I don't think there has ever been a problem on this last little mellow stretch. Someone should check the accuracy of the map, but I think these guys are representing they own land that they don't. Obviously we don't want to rock the boat, as these guys can make life difficult on the take out. Maybe we should talk to Elk Ridge homeowners (across the Elk River), to see if we can access a take out for Willows short season. I am sick of these guys, and have dealt with them before. They are not always the most rational people. Give me a call sometime. C/D hole at lunch?
A forum community dedicated to whitewater kayaking, boating, and rafting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, routes, gear, models, styles, gear swaps, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!