I Feel Like I Can’t Trust My Government

February 18, 2014|Posted in: Blog Posts

“I feel like I can’t trust my government”, said a forlorn Andy Barrie.

Well, Andy, none of us can trust our government any more. We have met the enemy, and it is us.

Andy and Ceil Barrie love Colorado, as do we all. They bought an old cabin and the ten acres surrounding it in the White River National Forest. This fulfilled their dream of a homestead surrounded by wild lands. But that dream turned to a nightmare.

Summit County is now trying to take their dream cabin, and the land, by eminent domain. Not to develop the land… but to preserve it.

How did this happen?

Jan. 24, 2014: Andy and Ceil Barrie stand for a photo next to their mining cabin near Breckenridge, Colo.AP

Jan. 24, 2014: Andy and Ceil Barrie stand for a photo next to their mining cabin near Breckenridge, Colo.AP

It all began in 2004. Telluride seized 572 acres that the owner wanted to develop along the San Miguel River. What did they want to do with it? Leave it as open space.

The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the confiscation by Telluride, saying that overcrowded mountain towns needed to preserve their recreational and natural assets.

Summit County tried to purchase the Barrie’s land, but negotiations hadn’t even been finished by the time that the County, in a surprise move, filed a condemnation lawsuit to simply take the land.

Apparently it wasn’t enough that the Barrie’s had allowed hikers across their land, and intended to keep it open space (with the exception of their rustic old cabin).

What did Andy and Ceil do that caused the huge dust-up? They drove a converted ATV up an old logging road the mile and a half from the city limits to their cabin. This is something that the previous owners had done before them. The US Forest Service suddenly went berserk, as did Summit County.

The case is not over. But unless the Congress or the Colorado Legislature intervenes, we all know the probable outcome.

A hundred years ago, this wouldn’t have been possible. Colorado settlers were tough folks, who didn’t take kindly to elites telling them how they can live their lives.

We need some backbone in the Colorado Legislature. This is our land, and the elites in government need to just get back to their own business.