Why More Than 250,000 Acres Of Public Lands In Colorado Aren’t Actually Public

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Photo: Black Canyon Of The Gunnison NP | Painted Wall - NPS
The painted wall inside the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Montrose County, Colo.

As more and more adventure goers flood to Colorado, the state's great outdoors get even busier.

But not all of the public land that should be open to all is accessible. Around 269,000 acres of public land are blocked off by private property holdings, according to a new study from the GPS mapping company onX and the nonprofit Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.

5280 Digital Assistant Editor Jay Bouchard wrote about these inaccessible public lands for the magazine. Bouchard talked to Colorado Matters about how the construction of the railroads out west created a checkerboard pattern of public and private land.