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Private properties bordering public lands might require easements

Imagine looking out into your backyard and seeing Colorado's beautiful and majestic federal public lands. For some lucky Colorado residents, this is not a dream in their imaginations. It is their reality of life.

In fact, private property surrounds 270 thousand acres of the state's federal lands. However, this might be an issue, according to a recent article in the Denver Post.

Why is this happening?

The Denver Post recently reported that almost 10 million acres of federal land across the Midwest is inaccessible to the public. The reason for this: private property is blocking it off.

Almost 500 square miles of the blocked off federal land is in Colorado. According to the recent article, more than 50,000 acres are located right outside of Denver.

Many homeowners chose to build along federal lands for reasons of privacy, never imagining the public would be able to walk through their yards. However, the article suggests that private landowners blocking the public access to federal lands could be bad for a state that relies on outdoor sports for much of its revenue.

Furthermore, the article urges the government to make the public land accessible by reinstating the Land and Water Use Conservation Fund. If reauthorized, it could have a serious impact on properties that adjoin federal lands.

What do easements require?

Easements legally allow people other than the property owner a limited interest in the property. The non-owners do not own the land, but they have a right to use the land for their enjoyment and other purposes within the scope of the easement. In this case, an easement might allow the public to enter private properties in order to cross into otherwise inaccessible federal lands.

For homeowners outside Denver who desire seclusion, easements are likely less than ideal. If you are encountering an easement issue on your property, O'Brien Legal is here to help. Give us a call with any of your easement questions or other real estate concerns.

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