Community's Fight for Jacob's Ladder May Be Lost Forever
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.The community's fight to keep a historic road, Jacob's Ladder, open to the public may be lost forever.
Since it was built in the 1880s, Jacob's Ladder has been a road beloved by many.
Laurinda Conrad, a plaintiff fighting in favor of public access to the road, said, "It's a public road, it's a historic landmark, Jacob's Ladder road. It's one of the three accesses to Pinon Mesa."
Back in April the Mesa County Commissioners passed a resolution vacating a portion of 21 1/2 Road, at the request of several property owners. People who use the road for recreational purposes claim they were not aware of the public hearing that led to the commissioners decision.
After hearing that the road was closed to the public, community members pleaded to County Commissioners, saying their decision to close the road was a mistake.
"An overwhelming number of people said 'hey I use this road, I want this road,' it was their passion to have this access that they use and love so many years," Conrad said.
Brandon Siegfried, an advocate for public land said, "Over 80 people gave comments and testimony of why that road should've stayed open."
Conrad also said, "Had the county, I feel, known all the facts, they would never've closed that road."
After the hearing the judge in the case ruled that the County Commissioners could change their decision on the matter. Conrad said, "It was not a guarantee that we'd ever get to keep our road, but it was going to hear both sides again."
However, several days later, the court ruled it made a mistake. The judge said the decision made by commissioners back in April was final.
"Judge Bottger reversed his decision to remand that road back to the public and now it has to go through the courts. We don't have the money to do that, we cannot financial fight the landowners," said Conrad.
Those who want the road open aren't giving up hope.
Conrad said, "In 1966 there's a recorded document from the last persons that were trying to close this road and the commissioners stated this road shall remain open to the public and that the county attorney would fight to keep this road open."
Siegfried said, "We haven't given up on reopening that road. We missed the easy way, you could say, and now have to try and do things the hard way."
Without that help this battle may already be over.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to the property owners who now have control of the road, and their lawyer. None of our calls were returned.
The Mesa County Commissioners were unavailable for comment.