DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s famous 14ers are on the “path to permanent protection” with the recent purchase of Mount Democrat by a nonprofit organization.
The Nature Conservation Fund According to a news release, Mount Democrat purchased from a private landowner. This means you no longer need a liability waiver for the hike to the summit, which is one of the changes suggested by the previous owner.
Access to many private 14ers was blocked after a law to protect landowners from liability failed in March. Since then, some 14ers have reopened with certain conditions, including Mount Lincoln and Mount Democrat.
Former landowner John Reiber allowed access with a disclaimer. With The Nature Conservation Fund By purchasing a portion of Reiber’s land, the disclaimer is no longer required to climb Mount Democrat.
While private areas like Mount Lincoln still require a liability waiver, many other 14er mountains are still closed, including the summit of Mount Bross. The Conservation Fund is not currently working on opening another 14, but that isn’t out of the question.
“We are willing to purchase additional properties that landowners are interested in,” said Kelly Ingebritson, the project manager.
As for liability, the Conservation Fund is prepared for the responsibility, Ingebritson said.
The plan is to transfer the land to the US Forest Service until the end of the year for long-term ownership. The property is also purchased Federal Fund for Land and Water Protectionone of the best sources of conservation funding in the country.
The Forest Service had originally asked the Conservation Fund to work with private landowners so it could eventually manage Mount Democrat for public recreation purposes.
Depending on landowner approval and interest, the Conservation Fund is willing to purchase 14s from private landowners to waive liability and make them available to the public.
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