Cushman Road incident 
to be investigated by BLM

The Bureau of Land Management is conducting a criminal investigation into the destruction of federal property in the July 21 removal of gates blocking a road near Olathe.

The incident on Cushman Creek Road resulted in the destruction of property valued at more than $1,000, Shannon Borders, spokeswoman for the BLM’s Uncompahgre Field Office, wrote in an email, noting that she would have no further comment.

One member of the group that opened the gates claimed in a letter to Montrose County officials that nothing wrong had been done and the BLM had no authority to close off the road.

“No one was hurt. We stayed within the principles of law. We threw off the Federal Government’s usurpation of Colorado sovereignty and jurisdiction and restored access to the public lands,” David Justice, a leader of the group, wrote to the county in a letter posted at

It was up to Montrose County and the sheriff to prevent the BLM from closing the road in the first place, Justice wrote.

“It is our position that we have broken no law, and have done nothing wrong. Regardless, we are being investigated by two persons representing themselves to be special agents of the Department of the Interior,” he wrote.

The road should be open under an 1866 law, Revised Statute 2477, Justice wrote.

The statute was intended to encourage settlement of the West in the wake of the Civil War and stayed on the books for a century. It was repealed in 1976 with the adoption of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act, but claims that were valid in 1976 would remain so.

Justice, a paralegal and Montrose-area radio host, said in the letter that his days of removing gates are done.

“I have no plans to be involved with the reopening of any more roads,” he wrote. “The message has been sent. I trust that it will be received.”


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No mention of the Mesa County Patriots celebrating this illegal action? Aren’t you their facebook friend? These guys promote themselves as “Patriot” but they have absolutely no respect for any government unless it happens to be convenient. This time they are using state and county government to mask their affront to the federal government. Next time they will disobey some local law/regulation and say it is because of the U.S. Constitution. Just as you shed the light on the act of illegal opening roads closed by an agency of the federal government, you need to shed some light on the local thugs who think it is a reasonable thing to do.  You know: Kevin McCarney and David Cox, just to name two.

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