Fri Aug 28th, 2020
Many Colorado highways are in “open range” areas
CDOT warns southwest Colorado travelers to be aware of cows on the road in Dolores County. Local ranchers are grazing cattle on public lands where “open range” falls on a five-mile stretch of CO Highway 145 immediately south of Rico, MP 42-46. Travelers should drive with extreme caution in this area, as cows frequently wander onto the roadway.
Additionally, travelers should be aware that many rural highways across the entire state of Colorado are in “open range” areas. Along many state highways, cattle and other livestock like horses or sheep, may be grazing near the roadway where there may be no fence keeping the livestock from roaming onto the highway.
CDOT posts “open range” signs in these areas to help warn motorists of the possibility of cattle on the road. The local CDOT maintenance patrol in Rico is also using portable electronic signs to caution drivers of “cows on the highway.” Motorists should be aware that they may meet up with roaming cows.
From the Colorado Department of Agriculture: “In Colorado, landowners have the inherent right to fence their land or leave it unfenced. In the early 1880’s the Colorado legislature passed a “fencing” statute. This statute is commonly referred to as the “open range” or “fence out” statute.”