Elk River: Rancher Jay Fetcher named to River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force by Governor Ritter

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From Steamboat Today (Mike Lawrence):

Gov. Bill Ritter named Jay Fet cher on Monday as one of 17 members of the River Access Dis pute Resolution Task Force. The group has until Dec. 31 to prepare a report for Ritter and the state Legislature that recommends methods for resolving disputes among landowners, commercial rafters, boaters and anglers on a case-by-case basis as disputes arise…

Fetcher was a logical choice for the task force, [Ritter spokesman Evan Dreyer said] said. “Jay (Fetcher) and his family have owned land and ranched in Northwest Colorado for decades and decades,” he said. “They have a unique perspective from a landowner’s viewpoint that will be extremely valuable to this task force and this process.”

Meanwhile, there is a dispute with the members of the dispute task force, according to a report from Shawn Martin writing for The Pulse- of Colorado Farm Bureau. From the article:

“In addition to the Governor making some questionable appointments to this taskforce, I am most disappointed that he clearly and purposely chose to alienate the organization whose members stand to potentially lose the most from this process. The Colorado Farm Bureau represents a large majority of riverfront landowners in Colorado, but our nominees to the task force are absent from the list of voting appointees,” said Alan Foutz, President of Colorado Farm Bureau. “It is disappointing that one of the organizations that was most engaged in the debate surrounding HB- 1188 is excluded from this process.”

In addition to a lack of diversity in political philosophy and vocation, the Governors list is also lacking members who live and work on the land of Colorado’s Western Slope. “Over half of the members of the taskforce reside in Front Range communities. It is apparent that the Governor is not serious about creating an equitable process that will yield fair and workable results for all parties involved. It shows his lack of seriousness about the issue,” continued Foutz.

More whitewater coverage here.

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