Document Type

Student Article


From the National Scenic Trails to mountains to other destinations in nature drawing the public’s interest and time for recreational activities, privately owned land can cause difficulties in ensuring reliable and consistent public access. A specific example is the Decalibron Loop, a trail in Colorado linking together a few mountains; public access has wavered over the years, and a recent Tenth Circuit case, Nelson v. United States, greatly affected landowner dispositions—particularly with regard to liability—toward the privately owned property. Similar situations across the country provide a variety of potential approaches to helping provide public access and reducing landowner concerns.

With the goals of respecting private property ownership and addressing landowner concerns, this Comment explores and analyzes various potential solutions as applied to the Decalibron Loop. Actions such as creating new easements or utilizing the government’s power of eminent domain have significant weaknesses. Creating a reliable partnership and updating the Colorado Recreational Use Statute are the two most viable options. These solutions take into account landowners’ vocal concerns, local organizations’ opinions and insight, and the uncertain future in this area of law following the Nelson case.



First Page


Last Page




To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.