HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right) dies in conference committee

 From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Charles Ashby): “What we tried to do with this bill was relate the statutes with reality,” said Rep. Kathleen Curry, the unaffiliated Gunnison legislator who introduced the bill with Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton. “What unraveled the legislative process was the fear of litigation and how the courts would … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right) dies in conference committee

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right) dies in conference committee

 From The Denver Post (Jessica Fender): The six-lawmaker panel deadlocked when members couldn’t settle on rules regarding how, when or whether river enthusiasts should be able to float through private property. The lack of a legislative resolution probably means voters will be asked to settle the fight on the November ballot. Twenty ballot initiatives … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right) dies in conference committee

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): What are the impacts to riparian areas and fish populations?

 From Steamboat Today (Michael J. Mitchell): The sustainability of one of Colorado’s most sensitive natural resources, our waterways, is being pitted against the demand for recreation and commerce. Floating, while it may seem to be non-consumptive, has impacts on the habitats where it occurs. There is bank damage at put in/take outs, toilets next … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): What are the impacts to riparian areas and fish populations?

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Bill heads to house/senate conference committee

 From The Pueblo Chieftain (Patrick Malone): On Friday, the House voted to refer HB1188 as amended in the Senate to a conference committee with representatives from both chambers. The bill as originally passed by the House sought to allow commercial rafters to float through private property. In the Senate, it first was amended to … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Bill heads to house/senate conference committee

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Rafting companies and developer agree to try mediation at the behest of Governor Ritter

 From the Crested Butte News (Seth Mensing): The trick will be to find a way a two-mile section of the Taylor River can be shared by two disparate groups of rafting and fishing clientele who expect something completely different from their respective river experiences. Mark Schumacher, owner of Three Rivers Tours, representatives from Scenic … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Rafting companies and developer agree to try mediation at the behest of Governor Ritter

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Colorado Water Congress’ role

Here’s an opinion piece penned by Charles White running in The Denver Post. Mr. White maintains that the CWC is the right organization to help shepherd the bill. From the article: The Colorado Senate made the right decision in referring the contentious proposal to establish a “right to float” on the state’s waterways to the … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Colorado Water Congress’ role

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Colorado Water Congress’ Doug Kemper says the bill is, ‘is a failure to use the network’

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka): The head of the [Colorado Water Congress] said this has been a “failure” in water negotiations. While emotions run high over the bill, it is actually an example of how the connections often promoted by the CWC broke down in this case, said Doug Kemper, CWC executive director, at … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): Colorado Water Congress’ Doug Kemper says the bill is, ‘is a failure to use the network’

HB 10-1188 (‘Row vs. Wade’) debate spawns 24 ballot initiatives for the November election

A record 24 ballot initiatives about rafting were filed March 26. State Representative Curry — the legislator responsible for introducing the original bill that sparked this debate — warned the private property people that this might happen. It’s not unusual in a state with Colorado’s history of citizen initiatives to see some action but I … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (‘Row vs. Wade’) debate spawns 24 ballot initiatives for the November election

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State senate morphs bill into a study

Here’s a long recap of the issues around HB 10-1188, from Forrest Whitman writing for the Weekly Register-Call/ Gilpin County News. Click through and read the whole thing. Here’s an excerpt: Last summer Greg Felt said he’d rather die than give up his right to float. Felt is one passionate boater! He laments that despite … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State senate morphs bill into a study

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State Senate morphs bill into a study

From The Denver Post (Scott Willoughby): Before a political end-around coordinated by Senate President Brandon Shaffer and others last Friday, HB 1188, the so-called “River Outfitters Navigation Bill,” had the potential to firmly establish the rights of Colorado’s professional and private boaters to continue floating on rivers that pass through both public and private property. … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State Senate morphs bill into a study

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State Senate morphs bill into a study

From Steamboat Today (Joel Reichenberger): Colorado House Bill 1188, which sought to settle the state’s “right to float” laws, was put on hold rather than voted into law in the state Senate. A study was commissioned and isn’t due to be reported until the end of October, ending for now what some view as a … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State Senate morphs bill into a study

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State Senate changes bill to a study

From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel): Technically, the bill is still alive, but all it does now is ask the Colorado Water Congress to study the issue by Oct. 1. The Water Congress is a private group made up of people interested in water. It is the most prominent water lobbying group in Colorado. Seven … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right): State Senate changes bill to a study

HB 10-1188: Rafting bill scheduled for second reading tomorrow

The rafting bill is scheduled for the second reading tomorrow (March 19) according to a legislative aide I spoke to this morning. Meanwhile, heres an update from Julie Sutor writing for the Summit Daily News. From the article: The state Senate Judiciary Committee gave its approval on Monday to a bill that would guarantee rafters’ … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Rafting bill scheduled for second reading tomorrow

HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right) makes it out of the Senate Judiciary committee 4-3

From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel): Only a last-second decision by Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, kept the bill alive. “I was undecided until the very last second. I’m not kidding you,” Hudak told reporters moments after the vote on House Bill 1188. The bill has pitted rafting companies against private property owners in a legal … Continue reading HB 10-1188 (Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right) makes it out of the Senate Judiciary committee 4-3

HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain future in the State Senate

From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel): “It’s in trouble,” said Sen. Mary Hodge, D-Brighton, the sponsor of House Bill 1188. The bill coasted through the House on a 40-25 vote, but it faces a tough first hearing in the Senate on Monday. A confluence of three very different opponents does not like the bill. The … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain future in the State Senate

HB 10-1188: Opponents mount advertising campaign

From the Colorado Independent (David O. Williams): Friends of Colorado’s Rivers is listed on the “paid for” line in the ads, which advocate for the property rights of landowners along Colorado rivers. The ad reaches out to landowners who may want to keep commercial rafting outfits from pulling out on their property in order to … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Opponents mount advertising campaign

HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain outcome in State Senate

From The Denver Post (Jessica Fender): Opponents of the bill have upped their lobbying firepower, started a full-court press on committee members scheduled to hear the legislation later this month and made the vote much tougher for some lawmakers who once favored the legislation. The turning tide has bill-backers threatening to put the question directly … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain outcome in State Senate

HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain outcome in State Senate

From the Summit Daily News (Julie Sutor): “I’m hearing many rumors coming from the Senate that they’re not going to get that bill out of committee,” said state Rep. Christine Scanlan, bill co-sponsor. “I know they have upwards of 19 lobbyists working against the bill, which is kind of unbelievable.”[…] The bill’s author, Rep. Kathleen … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain outcome in State Senate

HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain outcome in State Senate

From The Aspen Times (Scott Condon): “I think the opponents are gaining ground in the Senate,” said Curry, a Gunnison lawmaker who left the Democratic party this winter and is now unaffiliated. There are 17 lobbyists working to defeat the bill, according to Curry’s count earlier this week. “That’s one for almost every ‘no’ voted … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Rafting bill faces uncertain outcome in State Senate

HB 10-1188 passes the State House of Representatives 40-25 and moves on the State Senate

Bump and update: From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel): In a 40-25 vote, the House approved a bill that allows licensed river outfitters to briefly touch the riverbanks and portage around obstacles when streams flow through private land. Republicans Ellen Roberts of Durango and Scott Tipton of Cortez voted no because of concerns the bill … Continue reading HB 10-1188 passes the State House of Representatives 40-25 and moves on the State Senate

HB 10-1188 passes the State House of Representatives 40-25 and moves on the State Senate

Bump and update: From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel): In a 40-25 vote, the House approved a bill that allows licensed river outfitters to briefly touch the riverbanks and portage around obstacles when streams flow through private land. Republicans Ellen Roberts of Durango and Scott Tipton of Cortez voted no because of concerns the bill … Continue reading HB 10-1188 passes the State House of Representatives 40-25 and moves on the State Senate

HB 10-1188 — Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right moves on for final reading

From the Aspen Daily News (Brent Gardner-Smith): The Colorado House approved House Bill 10-1188 on a voice vote Friday to clarify that commercial rafting companies have the right to float down a historically run stretch of river, even if they have incidental contact with rocks and the river banks, and that they have the right … Continue reading HB 10-1188 — Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right moves on for final reading

HB 10-1188 — Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right passes out of committee

From The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Charles Ashby): [Texas developer, Lewis Shaw], who plans to build ranch estates along the river, told the House Judiciary Committee he gave the rafters a year’s notice. “This is a case of, ‘Do good fences make good neighbors?’ ” he said. “We have enjoyed being very good neighbors, but … Continue reading HB 10-1188 — Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right passes out of committee

HB 10-1188 — Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right passes out of committee

From the Associated Press (Steven K. Paulson) via The Denver Post: At a rally at the state Capitol, Duke Bradford, owner of Arkansas Valley Adventures, said his company guides about 23,000 tourists a year down five Colorado rivers. He is worried that a threat by Lewis Shaw II, president of Jackson-Shaw developers of Dallas, to … Continue reading HB 10-1188 — Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right passes out of committee

HB 10-1188: Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right

From the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel (Dave Buchanan): “The bill would allow incidental contact with property when commercial rafters went through private property,” said Mark Schumacher, owner of Three Rivers Outfitters in Almont. “It would also allow commercial rafts to portage around obstacles in the river.”[…] [State Representative Kathleen Curry’s] bill, called the “River Outfitters … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right

HB 10-1188: Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right

Here’s the background story that led to Representative Curry’s bill, from Jessica Fender writing for The Denver Post. From the article: A band of lawmakers has waded into the long-standing debate on whether rafters have the right to float through private property in an attempt to change ambiguous laws to favor rafters. Without legislative action, … Continue reading HB 10-1188: Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right

HB 10-1159, HB 10-1188, HB 10-1190 and SB 10-052

Here’s an analysis of the 3 House bills, from Joe Hanel writing for the Cortez Journal. From the article: Lawyers, rafts and money. Those are the debates in store for Colorado’s water community this year at the Legislature. A Pueblo Democrat wants to make sure that water imports from wet basins to dry ones don’t … Continue reading HB 10-1159, HB 10-1188, HB 10-1190 and SB 10-052

HB 10-1159: Mitigation for water exports and HB 10-1188: Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right

From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel): Pace’s House Bill 1159 would apply to water imports of more than 1,000 acre-feet – enough for a few thousand suburban families. Anyone who wanted to import water would have to strike a “mitigation agreement” with the water conservancy district in the wet basin. The idea would put the … Continue reading HB 10-1159: Mitigation for water exports and HB 10-1188: Clarify River Outfitter Navigation Right

Governor Ritter Creates Mediation Process for River Access Disputes

Here’s the release from Governor Ritter’s office (Myung Oak Kim/Todd Hartman): Gov. Bill Ritter today issued a report outlining a series of proposals for resolving disputes between landowners and rafters in Colorado. He also signed an executive order creating the River Access Mediation Commission to provide a way for some of the most contentious conflicts … Continue reading Governor Ritter Creates Mediation Process for River Access Disputes

Rafting rift settlement

 Here’s the release from Governor Ritter’s office: Gov. Bill Ritter announced today an agreement has been reached between commercial rafting outfitters and private property owners along the Taylor River. The compromise clears the way for sponsors of 24 competing ballot measures to withdraw their respective proposals from the November ballot, averting an expensive and … Continue reading Rafting rift settlement

Taylor River: Rafting rift leads to agreement for this season

 From the Associated Press (Steven K. Paulson) via the Summit Daily News: Property owners have declared a temporary truce in a dispute with commercial rafters and will allow rafting on their property this summer. Jackson-Shaw, the company that owns the Wilder on the Taylor fishing reserve, said Friday it will grant the two Taylor … Continue reading Taylor River: Rafting rift leads to agreement for this season

Taylor River rafting rift negotiations recap

 From The Crested Butte News (Seth Mensing): Meetings between Three Rivers Outfitters, Scenic River Tours and the Wilder resumed Thursday, April 22 at the request of Colorado Governor Bill Ritter and are still ongoing with a possible agreement that would let boaters and anglers share a two-mile stretch of the river. That is the … Continue reading Taylor River rafting rift negotiations recap

2010 Colorado elections: Governor Ritter wades into rafting rift rapids

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 … Continue reading 2010 Colorado elections: Governor Ritter wades into rafting rift rapids

2010 Colorado elections: Rafting rift makes the national news

From The Wall Street Journal (Stephanie Simon): That blissful setting is fairly well destroyed, [Steve Roberts] contends, when dozens of rubber rafts come bumping past, crammed with tourists of a less contemplative sort. “They come bebopping right on through…going over the dam I built for the fish, yelling ‘Whee!’ ” Mr. Roberts says. “I’ve got … Continue reading 2010 Colorado elections: Rafting rift makes the national news

HB 10-1159: Mitigation for water exports

From The Durango Herald (Joe Hanel): Geography trumped party when the House Agriculture Committee voted 9-4 Wednesday to approve House Bill 1159 by Pace, D-Pueblo. Pace got support from most Democrats, plus Western Slope Republicans Scott Tipton of Cortez and Randy Baumgardner of Hot Sulphur Springs. Meanwhile, Eastern Plains Republicans and a Denver-area Democrat joined … Continue reading HB 10-1159: Mitigation for water exports