New USFS permit rules: Ski industry claims a ‘taking’ of water rights, the Forest Service wants to keep water rights with the land

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From The Vail Business Journal (Bob Berwyn):

[Boulder-based attorney Glenn Porzak] said the change would prevent ski areas from selling water rights they developed and perfected — and this violates a basic principle of Colorado water law.

He used several specific examples to illustrate impacts of the change.

The clause could prevent a ski area like Arapahoe Basin from selling unneeded water in an offsite Reservoir (Clinton Gulch) to another ski area, he explained.

Or, one of the Vail Resorts-owned areas in Summit County might decide it doesn’t need all the water rights it has acquired over the years for snowmaking. Instead, the area might want to sell those water rights to be used for irrigation on private base area lands. Once again, the language could prevent such a transfer, he said.

More water law coverage here and here.

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