Monday, February 11, 2008

Public access a rare bird

Colorado has saved more open-space lands using conservation easements than any other state in the nation except Maine.
But virtually none of those 1.13 million acres is open to Coloradans.
Just 2.7 percent of properties, 30,863 acres, provide public access, according to an analysis by the Rocky Mountain News of a new state database of nearly 3,000 easements.
Douglas County has offset the issue somewhat by providing public open space on the other side of the interstate from the ranch. Further, despite the lack of access, the easement, funded in part by Great Outdoors Colorado, provides an open-space buffer between the metro area and Colorado Springs.
Providing access on private lands often is difficult because of trespass and liability issues, conservation experts said.
"If you want land for public access, the best thing to do is buy it and make it a state park or a county park," said Rand Wentworth
In Vermont
public access is considered in every easement
Little public oversight
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