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Peter Freedman

What To Do When A Patented Claim Owner Puts A Gate Preventing Access To Federal Mining Claim?

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I am having some access issues to my claims which are on Forest Service in Colorado. I used to have a key to a locked gate. However my lock has been removed. Now I can;t access my claim. Seems that the owner wants to do a large reclamation funderd by the EPA on her property. I contacted to the owner of the land - and they do not want me to have access. Its my understanding that preventing access to my claims is illegal; especially on roads that were used to service ore in the past. Any suggestions? Talk with the sheriff? Just add another lock to the chain? Anyone had a similar experience. Just don;t want enemies in the woods. 

 

-Peter

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How long have you(or past claim owners) had access on that road? How long have there been locks on the gate? Is there any other access available?

You may have to have an attorney write a letter for you alluding to future legal action if you have some legal right to access. Letterheads do sometimes work.

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I purchased the rights in Nov. 2013 - The seller had the rights for the previous 2 years. The prior owner, whom owned most of the surrounding patents; owned the rights of the claims for at least 20 years. Unfortunately, the gentleman who owned the rights passed away and thus the claims became available.  Which I obtained. 

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Get a copy of the patent description and survey map. Many of them can be found at the U.S. General Land Office. If a copy is not available online you can order one there for mail delivery.

 

If the survey shows a public road traversing the patent, or the patent fee grant description specifies one, the owner was already publicly noticed of the right of the public to pass.  You may have to remind him. :)

 

Verifiable historical records of a public way before the patent was granted and after 1866 would be just as effective.

 

No public road prior to the patent grant? You would have to rely on any public easement that can be enforced under State law.

 

If none of the above are true you may have to find a different route to your claim. I wish you luck!

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Thanks Clay, 

 

I Actually resolved by having a good conversation with the owner of the parcel. Interestingly, I talked with the county road people; they would ensure that I would get access only at the cost of removing the gate all together. They maintain a Forest Service Map from 1908 - roads established to claims prior have automatic right of way. But then I would lose a gate to the claim; which having a gate is preferred.

 

Peter 

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