2010 Colorado elections: Governor Ritter wades into rafting rift rapids

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Patrick Malone):

Ritter has met with rafting interests and landowners hoping to broker a compromise “so this doesn’t become some kind of ballot Armageddon.” Since the Senate amended [HB 10-1188] last month, it has been a fixture on the House calendar with no action…

Since a Colorado Supreme Court ruling in the late 1970s that allowed rafters passage through private lands, outfitters and landowners have coexisted mostly harmoniously, Ritter said Monday. But the Western Slope acrimony and resulting bill created a rift. “The controversy that was normally dormant came to the surface,” Ritter said.

The governor said his office has intervened because the specter of numerous ballot initiatives further muddying the water over who can travel Colorado’s rivers and where looms large. To date, 12 proposed initiatives swirling around those questions have been filed with the state for possible placement on the November ballot. Talks between both sides of the issue have been productive at times, and broken down at others, Ritter said. It’s likely a conference committee of the Legislature will soon hear the bill in its amended form, but ideally, Ritter would like to see rafters and landowners calm the waters themselves.

More 2010 Colorado elections coverage here.

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