Citizens Can’t Count on Keeping Their Private Lands in Colorado

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100-year old cabin

Andy and Ceil Barrie in their dream home

The story of Andy and Ceil Barrie is over but what they went through and how it ended up should not be forgotten because of the way their land was taken. It was taken for “open spaces.”

Andy and Ceil Barrie owned a small 100-year old mining cabin with a panoramic view of towering pines in the White River National Forest. They didn’t live in it and it was without modern conveniences like heat.

They bought the 3-bedroom home and a surrounding 10-acre parcel surrounding the cabin to live out their dream in the Colorado mountains as empty nesters.

Summit County seized their property because they used a motorized vehicle to get to their own land. The County claimed the Barries did not have the legal right to use their ATV to get to their land.

The neighbors resented the family using an ATV and complained. Think about that if neighbors don’t like something you do, they can get the government to seize your land? That wasn’t the only reason, the main reason was “open spaces”.

The county government and Forestry service didn’t want the couple driving their ATV up the 1.2-mile mining road to their cabin and their solution was to abuse the power of eminent domain. Their ATV is easier on the terrain than foot traffic.

They did not use Eminent Domain to promote economic development, but to preserve open spaces according to the UN sustainability agenda. That was a reason not used before.

If the government, local, federal or state can seize private property for open spaces, how is the US any different than any other Marxist nation?

Open space “is all it’s ever been,” said Andy Barrie. “I feel like I can’t trust my government.” The family couldn’t afford to go any further with their case.

When the Barries prepared a court challenge to the government banning their use of a motorized vehicle, the County contacted them to buy their land. When the Barries said it wasn’t for sale, the County voted to condemn the property.

Experts in eminent domain say it’s rare for governments to use that power to create parks or open space. It sets a dangerous precedent.

The Barries were willing to give some of the land to conservation groups and would have demolished the cabin if necessary. “We just want the land,” Ceil Barrie said forlornly. “I don’t feel like this is America,” she said.

The County officials felt justified because they’ve only filed Eminent Domain twice before but the fact is, they will do it again.

The Barries lost their case. Governments have the tax dollars to destroy private home owners’ rights.

“I think we presented some interesting arguments, but I don’t have unlimited funds,” Andy Barrie said. “They essentially spent me to death.”

The county, in line with the thinking of ICLEI and extreme environmental groups, believes they have the right to ban all motorized vehicles on private land in their county.

They are only giving the Barries $115,000 for their land valued at five times that amount. The family spent $80,000 trying to protect their rights. They bought the land and the ATV for $550,000 in 2011.

While the Barrie’s were negotiating, the county simply took the land for wildlife since humans obviously have fewer rights.

The governments at all levels are out of control and they are in the business of revenge. The Center for Biodiversity is one of the leading organizations behind Agenda 21 and its enforcement arm – ICLEI. It has been waging war on private property owners throughout the West and elsewhere over so-called “protected” species.

The banning of off-road vehicles is one of their causes. Federal, state and local governments that don’t comply with their unreasonable demands are sued or have the Bureau of Land Management down their throats. The federal government is a more-than-willing participant in what are now known as “sue and settle” cases. Read about what they are up to on this link and this link.

The federal, state and local governments are asserting their non-existent rights over all the land they decide to take. It’s an abuse of power.

Eminent domain is often used by government officials to justify the takeover of homes and land but using the reason of “open spaces” is new. Eminent Domain is also applied to financial assets and new and more creative abuses are being considered all the time.

For example, a scholar at the New York Federal Reserve has floated a report with the idea of using eminent domain to seize mortgages of underwater homeowners as a means of “easing” their debt.

Listen to the Barries:

In addition to county and state owned land, the Federal government owns 35.9% of the land in Colorado. All the people get pushed into the cities as the UN Agenda called for.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. That is a bunch of crock if the people took the government back got rid of everyone started over I wonder what they say about it then take what they have.

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