Privacy   |    Financial   |    Current Events   |    Self Defense   |    Miscellaneous   |    Letters To Editor   |    About Off The Grid News   |    Off The Grid Videos   |    Weekly Radio Show

County Threatens Seizure Of Cabin … Because Owners Use ATV

Colorado eminent domain cabin snowmobile

Image source:

A couple may lose their dream home to eminent domain because they use an ATV to reach their rustic cabin.

The Summit County, Colorado, commissioners voted to seize 10 acres of land Ceil and Andy Barrie own to use as open space in October after learning the couple used a motorized vehicle on the property.

“I feel like I can’t trust my government,” Andy Barrie told the Associated Press.

The Barries bought the century old Colorado cabin on a mining claim near the ski town of Breckenridge in 2011. The cabin is 1.2 miles from the nearest road, so the couple uses an ATV to reach it.

People have apparently been using ATVs, snowmobiles, to reach the cabin for years. The all-terrain vehicle the Barries currently use came with the cabin.

Forest Service and County Try to Seize Land

The Barries’ troubles began when the US Forest Service told them they couldn’t use a motorized vehicle to reach the property. Their acreage is surrounded by the White River National Forest.

In October, county officials issued a report that stated “public motorized access” to the property threatened the alpine tundra and the habitat for the lynx, an endangered species. The Barries only use their ATV and don’t allow other ATVs on the property. County commissioners agreed with the report and voted on Oct. 25, 2013, to seize the property.

As regulations on our lives increase, it is apparent that we are losing our historic freedoms.

“People in this community are very intent on preserving the back country,” Summit County Attorney Jeff Huntley said. Huntley said the county only seized the property because the Barries refused to stop using the ATV.

The Barries are also committed to preserving the back county. They told the Associated Press that they plan to donate some of their property to conservation groups and they would be willing to tear down the cabin. The cabin is apparently in violation of zoning laws because a previous owner expanded it without a permit.

Access is the Issue

The Barries insist that they have a legal right of way to the property. The county and the Forest Service insist that they do not.

The couple is preparing a legal challenge to the county’s action. Such a challenge might be tough, because in 2005 the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a similar seizure of land in Telluride was constitutional.

Governments do have the right to seize property for parks and recreational use, attorney and eminent domain expert Dana Berliner told the Associated Press. Officials in Washington Township, Ohio, did use eminent domain to seize part of a family’s land for a bicycle path, Off the Grid News reported last year.

“It’s not that you can’t do it, but they don’t do it much,” Berliner said. “There’s typically other ways of doing open space than just taking land.”

Sign up for Off The Grid News’ weekly email and stay informed about the issues important to you

© Copyright Off The Grid News


  1. Everything is out of control. It’s too late for the return to a civilized society. Humpty Dumpty is on the edge. He is going to fall and break. All King Obama’s men can’t put him together again and they don’t want to.

    Rahm Emanuel famously said: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

    “Hang on, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.” – Betty Davis in All about Eve.

    • Danyel M. Hoskins-Miley

      And how exactly is any of this Obama’s fault?.People like you are the problem in this country. These laws are as old as time in these community’s. Change the law people that is our freedom. The freedom to legally oppose things we find unjust. Obama has nothing to do with these laws. Get over yourself.

    • Grab a legal dictionary and look up every word they use against you (those in the cabin issue) They are not what you think they are. The legal words and the common words, many think are the same, they are not…Bill Clinton said it best…depending on what the definition of is is. He gave the whole game away that day.

  2. While I don’t agree with the way or the rights of the authorities doing this. The folks in this article should pursue legal redress. That being said, The article did say their was no problem until the Barries insisted on using the tracked vehicle. 1.2 miles is not a huge distance to overcome with travel. My wife and I walk more than double that everyday just to walk. They could have used snowshoes or skies in winter and walked in and out when needing access during non-snow times. I believe in the rights of the individual but sometimes you need to compromise when it involves forested areas. I live in a town in Wisconsin that is forested in surrounding areas. On our street is the town snowmobile trail throughway. I don’t get upset at the riders that do use the trail but I do get really upset when the rest of the area is torn up from the drivers that don’t care about preserving the countryside around the trail. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out into our yard and found our shrubs nearly torn out by the jerks that don’t care about others rights only their individual presumed rights to go wherever they want to on their trail machines. I sincerely wish the Barries well in this effort, but perhaps they should consider walking instead of losing altogether. The construction issue is indeed a separate issue…

    • You do understand CO has laws on the books that property can not be land locked right!!! They have the right if they wish to put in a private road to their property. This is where ingress and egress play a roll on the books. hmmm you seem to know a lot about the couple like health conditions maybe one or both can not walk 1.2 miles in a blizzard to reach THEIR home. This was a non issue before so what Ranger had a hard-on that made a stink about this. I have seen plenty of Hikers leave trash and take poos on trails so their stuff stinks too. So you blame a whole group on a few bad apples? Come on give me a break. Just like YOU view they should walk I view you need to put boulders to block those evil snowmobiles from tearing up your shrubs take ownership of your property and put some deterrents in. Their ATV is not hurting a thing, it’s not like they said hey we are going to put in a motorcross track on OUR property which I feel they have a right to do as it’s THEIR PROPERTY. I guess property rights don’t mean a thing. I assume the cabin permit deal only came about from the county trying to find more faults. I would assume they will sue the previous owner for this issue if it was not disclosed. Also if the previous owner did have issues also with hard-on Ranger/Commissioners and that was not disclosed then he will be on the hook. By the way every State I know you are allowed to access your property and you can build a roadway and even take an easement from other property owners as you can not be landlocked. Those laws are on the books so Bill Bob can not buy all the property surrounding yours and then deny you access to thus in effect take your land.

  3. Yes, the government has a right to Buy land from citizens under immanent domain. I hope the Barries have gotten their land value appraised by at least 2 private companies, just in case the government decides to seize their land. At least that way when the fiscally irresponsible government tries to underpay for the land, they will have current land value reports to hand them. It’s sad to me that it’s necessary to plan for the government to try to cheat their own citizens, but it’s not exactly a new thing.

    • The reason why this is more common now is because land prices took a fall with the economy. So it’s more attractive now for Cities and what have you to steal land and under pay for it. Lets say they paid $300,000 and now it’s worth $200,000. So now the county says yeah we will buy it for $200,000 meaning they loss $100,000 on the deal. This is all too common now. This is where eminent domain laws need rewritten as you should be paid what you PAID as the minimum plus I would say a percentage like 20% for the hassle, but if your land say went up in value say to $400,000 you should be paid which ever is higher. For all we know this couple planned to keep this land for 20-30 years and most likely it would of then been worth $600,000 (just using numbers for example). All land goes up in value in the long run. So they might of lost huge gains because the county wants to under pay them. This whole deal is BS and a land grab.

  4. Time to also start a discrimination suit. Denying access, except via foot, denies us disabled types from enjoying this asset (on invitation, of course).

    That said, you can fight city hall. The first mistake most make is not making it personal. That is done not just by focusing on the relative issues, but also by digging into the public records for EVERY illegal act by the greeenies trying to steal property.

    Every government agency has so many laws to deal with, it’s animators cannot comply with them all. For example, in WA, agencies can be held accountable under RCW 42.17.400 for their failure to comply with Washington’s Public Records Act. Then, since agencies are imaginary and incapable of any act, except by the works of their animators, the agents who caused the problem can be held to task (ref. chapter 4.92 RCW and chapter 4.96 RCW), whether for action or inaction (e.g., negligence).

    Next, look at the courts. Public defenders bid for jobs. Then, instead of performing on their contracts, they plea out all their clients, after meeting them for the first time only minute before the first hearing. Essentially, they act as ineffective assistance of counsel AND could be a source of profit to anyone wanting to pursue a qui tam action against them for taking money and not performing the service (the whistle blower gets a large percentage of the money recouped).

  5. It seems to me that Colorado has gone to the dogs. The demoncratic commies are sure to take what they see is their rightful duty to take over whatever is desirable for ‘the people’. I’m watching a ’62 movie with William Holden starring called Satan Never Sleeps about the ’49 communist takeover in China. They took over private property at their own whims with the excuse that it was for the betterment of the people. These people bought property that had been there for decades. NOW all of a sudden there’s a problem. Where were they when the former owners expanded the cabin illegally? Where were they when the property was being sold with the new square footage? I’m not even talking about any of the LAWS on the books regarding this issue of easement and accessibility to their property. People can’t walk to property in the snow when they have bad hearts or COPD. There are no health restrictions on potential buyers, so there should be no restrictions on manner of accessibility.

    • Never fear…there are Libertarian minded Californian’s like myself and my extended family that are fleeing the Left Coast for this very reason and invading Colorado. We will take it back soon. We are all VERY politically active.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *