NIDIS Weekly Climate, Water and Drought Assessment Summary of the Upper Colorado River Basin

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Here are Henry Reges’ notes from Tuesday’s webinar. It’s been very dry. Areas of Colorado (Colorado, Yampa and South Platte basins) are slipping into D0 — abnormally dry conditions.

River Access Dispute Task Force meeting recap

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):

“We are going to try to get neighbors to meet with neighbors without having to have legislation,” said Bob Hamel, a member of the task force who also is Colorado River Outfitters Association president and owner of Arkansas River Tours in Cotopaxi. “We (outfitters) are not going to give up floating on any rivers in Colorado and it’s not about signing agreements, because every situation is unique.”[…]

Nathrop rancher Frank McMurry told the task force about his concerns from a private landowner’s perspective. He said he and other landowners feelvulnerable to lawsuits. “I own the last piece of private property before you go into Browns Canyon, and the carrying capacity is 300 rafts. With seven people in a raft, that is 2,100 rafters a day and that is not counting the private boaters,” McMurry said. “My property has become an attractive nuisance and rafters have caused a big part of that,” McMurry said. He described finding private boaters on his property who had set up a volleyball net and were playing volleyball. Another time, a group of private boaters had stopped to chase some of his heifers at a time when two bulls were with the cattle. “What if one of them was hurt by a bull? Who is liable for that? I think the state should afford us liability (insurance) as property owners,” McMurry said.

The public still can weigh in on the issue. Written input or comments may be provided to Governor’s River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force via e-mail at riveraccess@state.co.us, via mail at Colorado Department of Natural Resources, attention Kim Burgess, 1313 Sherman St., Room 718, Denver, CO 80203. For information, log onto the website http://www.dnr.state.co.us.

More whitewater coverage here.