County tries to seize land for open space in a western wrinkle on eminent domain

The Associated Press

In this Jan. 24, 2014 photo, Andy and Ceil Barrie stand for a photo next to their mining cabin near Breckenridge, Colo. Summit County wants to condemn 10 acres of land that belongs to the Barrie's through the controversial power of eminent domain. (AP Photo/Nicholas Riccardi)

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By NICHOLAS RICCARDI, Associated Press

BRECKENRIDGE, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado county is taking the unusual step of trying to seize private property outside of Breckenridge and convert it to open space.

Summit County wants to condemn 10 acres of land through the controversial power of eminent domain. The land belongs to Andy and Ceil Barrie. It sits near the tree-line and is reachable along a century-old jeep road from the Barries' house down below.

The case stems from the Barries insisting they had the legal right to reach it on an ATV.

The county says it has to seize the land to protect endangered wildlife and habitat. The Barries say they planned to keep it pristine and don't see why the government needs to take it from them.

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