Sheriff’s Office enters into contract to patrol Colowyo Mine borders during hunting season

Program aimed at reducing trespassing, limiting access to critical mine operating zones

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Colowyo has “had quite a few problems with trespassers on the west end of their property that they couldn’t quite maintain with the limited resources from the Bureau of Land Management. There is a huge liability for Colowyo if hunters get into areas where they are blasting or mining.”

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz about a contract to have off-duty deputies patrol Colowyo Mine’s borders during the hunting season

The Moffat County Sheriff’s Office recently entered into a contract with Colowyo Mine to conduct patrols during the 2012 to 2014 hunting seasons.

Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said deputies have been patrolling the boundaries of Colowyo Mine for about the past five seasons in an effort to minimize the number of trespassing violations by hunters.

Colowyo Mine is private property.

Colowyo has “had quite a few problems with trespassers on the west end of their property that they couldn’t quite maintain with the limited resources from the Bureau of Land Management,” Jantz said. “There is a huge liability for Colowyo if hunters get into areas where they are blasting or mining.

“I don’t think they’re trying to be cruel, but I do understand their concerns, especially in their southwest quadrant, where canyons make it difficult to monitor for trespassers.”

The focus of the program is to provide law enforcement services, and deputies are not necessarily expected to educate hunters on public and private property boundary lines.

“Colowyo has tried to educate hunters in the past, and some people have blatantly disregarded their ‘no trespassing’ signs,” Jantz said. “Even though it says specifically in the hunter’s rules that the hunter is to know where they’re at, we do try to educate people if they’re in an area where it is difficult to understand the exact boundaries.”

The Colowyo patrol program is no different than any other event in which the Sheriff’s Office provides extra security; however, Colowyo is responsible for the costs of the service and equipment maintenance, which provides deputies with the opportunity to earn overtime pay that wouldn’t come out of the county coffers, Jantz said.

In addition, patrol services are conducted by off-duty deputies so as not to affect the Sheriff Office’s public safety duties to the county.

Deputies will be patrolling Colowyo’s borders during the archery, muzzleloading, rifle, private land only Elk cow, late cow and mountain lion hunting seasons.

Hunters are encouraged to study and understand public and private land boundaries to avoid citations.

Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or jmoylan@craigdailypress.com.

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