Horse Gulch Blog

Watchdogging for the greater Durango area

12 Aug 2018

Stories+public pressure provoke distortion of barricades, closure signage at Falls Creek Road

Posted by Adam Howell


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Two gates with “trail closed” signage that Ed Zink installed across Falls Creek Road in June were removed following reporting on Horse Gulch Blog that the barricades defied a court order to keep the road open to the general public.

Boundary of Zink land with US Forest Service land.

Boundary of Zink land with US Forest Service land.

The day before a different, but related story by Jonathan Romeo ran in The Durango Herald, the gate at the top was taken down, and the gate at the bottom was opened. Both gates had the “trail closed” signs removed.

It’s unclear who removed these gates that were interfering with traffic on Falls Creek Road. If Ed Zink replies to my question, I’ll let you know.

The removal of the gates and signage that were interfering with traffic on the road also follows questions this blogger submitted to County officials about how they would respond to the closure.

A La Plata County Sheriff’s Sergeant previously said that he would ask the Zinks to remove the gates. The Sergeant said that the Zink’s would not be ticketed, although county officials have repeatedly acknowledged that the road is open to the public, and not just for those who own land that the road crosses over.

The gate across Falls Creek Road at the Bronson’s property also had it’s private property signage removed. A sign that previously said, “private property access restricted,” was resurfaced with a yellow smiley face and a purple background.

This sign was nailed to a cottonwood tree that had fallen over by Falls Creek Road. The sign appeared to be on the Zink's 30-acre parcel.

This sign was nailed to a cottonwood tree that had fallen over by Falls Creek Road. The sign appeared to be on the Zink’s 30-acre parcel.

Another sign on the gate at the Bronson’s property that read, “Please be aware this is all private property, both here and on top of the hill” was removed.

An “end of easement” sign also mysteriously disappeared from a cottonwood tree next to the road recently.

A district court judge in 1979 declared Falls Creek Road a public roadway that's open to the general public after Zink's dad sued a neighbor who put a barricade across the road.



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Gate on the Bronson's property.

Gate on the Bronson’s property.

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