Denver Columnist: ‘Barney Fife’ Ruined CO Field Trip


Columnist Diane Carman of the Denver Post recounts the case of a “classic Barney Fife” who spoiled a high school field trip in Colorado. Sixty-four sophomores raised money to pay the costs for a two-day rafting and camping outing in May along the Upper Colorado River. But Officer Andrew Maddox of the state Parks and Recreation Department showed up and busted the teachers for operating a river outfitter without a license.

“It was just absurd,” said Jack Van Horn, parent of one of the students and a former river outfitter. “It’s bureaucracy run amok.” Carman wrote, “Maddox, apparently abandoning all common sense, cited the teachers for violating state statute 33-32-102(3.3), which requires commercial river outfitters to obtain state licenses.” The state hasn’t back down, suggesting a teacher plead guilty to dispose of the charges. A hearing was scheduled Tuesday in Grand County Court.


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