Loveland, Colorado rancher Paul Ehrlich was annoyed by all the people rafting and tubing down the river that runs through his property, and trespassing all over his 60 acres. So he built a barbed-wire fence across the river to keep them away.
The problem with building a deadly death-trap fence across waterways popular with recreationists—as Erlich quickly learned—is that it's against Colorado state law. Apparently, barbed-wire fences can be very difficult for rafters and tubers to notice whilst innocently wooshing toward them. Also, it is highly unlikely that thrill-seekers would ever expect to encounter such a fence in the first place, because barbed-wire barriers do not commonly run across America's rivers. Supposedly Ehrlich had installed a "large red wooden sign" to warn river-travelers about his innovative construction, but how this would ever be enough to prevent them from having a serious accident—well, no plan is perfect, right?
Upon learning about the fence, a sheriff's deputy paid a visit to Ehrlich and told him, "look buddy, you gotta take that thing down" (in so many words). So Ehrlich did. Nobody likes jail! Too much barbed wire. But now he's left wondering how to keep trespassers off his property in a way that won't kill them. He also has to figure out how to keep cows on his property—another problem the fence would have solved. So his ambitious plan is also the most obvious one: get state legislators to change the law and allow his fence.