Strengthen Colorado's Recreational Use Statute & Protect Public Outdoor Recreation Access!

Strengthen Colorado's Recreational Use Statute & Protect Public Outdoor Recreation Access!

1,850 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
Petition to
State Senator Julie Gonzales and

Why this petition matters

Started by The Next Summit

Sign our petition now to protect and expand public access to public and private lands for recreation in Colorado by strengthening the Colorado Recreation Use Statute that protects landowners who grant free access to their land for hiking, camping, biking, and climbing.

Why is this suddenly an issue? In 2019, the Air Force Academy was found liable for $7 million when a mountain biker hit a sinkhole on an unofficial trail. An exception in the CRUS says owners are not protected if they fail to warn guests of hazards on their land, including the washed-out section of trail. The verdict had an immediate chilling effect throughout the state as attorneys began advising their clients to protect themselves and close their land to the public.

The Decalibron Closed First. In 2021, foreshadowing what was coming, Mt Democrat and Lincoln closed to the public while the landowners and CMC worked to install new signs. While the landowner's attorneys continued to recommend he shut down the peaks, he took a risk and chose to re-open them while he continued to work towards a long-term solution.

Mt Democrat and Kite Lake are now closed to public access indefinitely.

Mt. Lindsey Closed Next. Later that year, Mt. Lindsey near Alamosa was closed to the public by its owners, who also cited their attorney recommendations and liability risk as the reason for shutting it down. The peak has been closed ever - since, joining Mt Bross which has been closed for two decades due to a mix of liability and conservation concerns and an inability to identify and contact all of the relevant landowners.

Our Work to Restore Access. In response to these closures and other impending situations, the Colorado Mountain Club and Colorado Fourteeners Initiative helped write and introduce a bipartisan bill (SB-103) in the Colorado Senate. The legislation would have removed one critical word from the CRUS exemption to increase liability protection for landowners. 

Our Bill Had Broad Support. During the bill's initial hearing, more than 20 people from 32 organizations testified in support - while only 3 people from one organization testified against it: Lobbyists and attorneys representing the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association. 

Bill was Killed by the Trial Lawyers. Despite the bill's broad base of support, the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association successfully had it killed - the same group whose members profit personally from liability lawsuits like the Air Force Academy case that created this problem.

Caption: Members of our coalition testifying at the bill's hearing.

More Closures Announced. Less than two days after the bill died, the landowner announced he was unable to secure affordable liability insurance, given concerns among his insurance company - and would be closing Mt Democrat and Mt Lincoln again as a result. As Mt Cameron is only accessible via one of these other two peaks, it also closes it to the public as well, leaving five of Colorado's 14ers inaccessible to the public.

Enough is Enough. Colorado's 14ers, trails, climbing routes, and hunting lands are an iconic part of our state's legacy and commitment to outdoor recreation and conservation. We can and must do better.

We demand action from the state legislature. To Senator Dylan Robers, Senator Julie Gonzalez, and Senator Robert Rodriguez - plus the Senate and House Leadership and Governor Jared Polis - we ask for your commitment to protect and restore access to Colorado's wild outdoor places, including Mt Lindsey, Mt Democrat, and Mt Lincoln.

Learn more about this issue or get involved to support public access:

Here are some more resources and some links to join our grassroots supporter group and subscribe to the CMC's conservation e-newsletter to get updates about this issue. You can also visit to learn more.

Stay in Touch and Get Involved:

Join our Grassroots Facebook Page!

Subscribe to the CMC Conservation Newsletter!

Join the Fix CRUS Coalition as an organization.

Join the Fix CRUS Coalition as an individual.

Articles with Background Info:

Meet our Coalition Partners:

Thank you for supporting public outdoor recreation access in Colorado!



1,850 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!