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Old 02-11-2010   #91
Buena Vista/Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12

Please contact your reps today. Call and email. Find your rep here COMaps: Find Your Elected District . Tell them you support 1188 for Colorado's economy and because no private landowner should be able to "close" Colorado's rivers. Tell them why you personally support 1188. C'mon boaters, get it done!

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Old 02-11-2010   #92
Arvada (Denver), Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 250
First Reading was the Introduction of HB 1188. Then the House hearing before the House Judiciary Committee and now the Second Reading.

btw, I have heard that it has been rescheduled for tomorrow and I have also heard that HB 1188 wiil be first in line TODAY, Thursday, when the House returns at 1:30pm.

Probably best to check back today, Thursday, at 1:30pm online or on Comcast channel 165 or whatever it is on Dish, etc.

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Old 02-11-2010   #93
Buena Vista/Breckenridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12
Yeah, one would think....although the opposition can be doing the same thing. Email too to make sure you're heard!
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Old 02-11-2010   #94
Brotorboat's Avatar
Right near the beach...BOYEEEEE, Brahbrobrahdo
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 442

A lot of VMail boxes are full....

Please email as many representatives as you can. I know for a fact that at least a handfull have already checked their email today at least once as I have recieved a few replies.
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Old 02-11-2010   #95
Stoner, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 93
Ellen Roberts voicemail isn't full now. Fill it up!
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Old 02-11-2010   #96
TakemetotheRiver's Avatar
Durango, Colorado
Paddling Since: 05
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,477
Originally Posted by Ikedub View Post
Ellen Roberts voicemail isn't full now. Fill it up!
Just spoke to her assistant. She said the second reading has been pushed to tomorrow and if (when) it passes the House, the third reading should be Monday in the Senate. She sounded like Roberts favors the bill, though she didn't say that for sure. Keep calling!!!
"There is NOTHING--absolute nothing--half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Look here! If you've really nothing else on hand this morning, supposing we drop down the river together, and have a long day of it?" -Wind in the Willows
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Old 02-11-2010   #97
nathanfey's Avatar
, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 80
HB - 1188 Second reading has been laid over until Friday 2/12

American Whitewater asks that you Contact Colorado's State Legislators and Urge them to Add Private Boaters to the "River Outfitter Bill".
The Colorado Legislature is considering a bill (House Bill 1188 or the "River Outfitters Bill"), which helps protect the rights of commercial boaters to float on commercial sections of river, and also increases the safety of boaters by decriminalizing incidental contact with land to portage obstacles.

HB-1188 is a good bill, but doesn't go far enough! Navigation and safety should include ALL boaters on EVERY river.

Whether you are a Colorado Resident, or someone who travels to Colorado to hit the peak paddling season each year, we need your help to ensure all boaters have safe access on all Colorado rivers. The state House of Representatives is going to debate and vote on HB-1188 Thursday February 11th and likely Friday, February 12th.

We need your calls TODAY!

American Whitewater is asking our members to help protect our right to float. Here are three things you can do:

  1. Call or email your state legislators today and urge them to add private boaters to HB-1188. River access should be for all of the public on all rivers. (Info about how to do this below)
  2. Pass this information along to other boaters - send to other lists, post on boating forums, talk to your friends. Help keep the boating community informed.
  3. Stay tuned! American Whitewater and Colorado Whitewater are working to amend the bill to include private boaters as it works its way through the legislative process.
For more information, you can go to

You can follow the progress of the bill AND listen to debate through the Colorado General Assembly website.

How to contact your state Senator and Representative:

Find out who your elected officials are at
Reach the Senate offices at 866-2316, and the House offices at 866-2904; ask for your elected official.
You can find email, direct phone number, and mailing address for your elected officials at the Colorado General Assembly website:

Here is a sample letter/email that you can edit or use as a script for your call.


Representative or Senator __________:

I write this letter as an individual who recreates on rivers and streams in Colorado. These waters provide a diverse array of recreational opportunities that are enjoyed by millions of Americans and local families like mine who enjoy rafting, kayaking, and canoeing. In the U.S., 24 Million Americans enjoy paddling. Here at home, 11% of Colorado residents over 18 years old - nearly 400,000 individuals - enjoy these activities

Our state's rivers and streams play a vital role in the everyday lives of our communities. In many parts of Colorado they are the centerpieces of our cities and towns, and safe public access to our waterways is critical to maintaining our recreation-based economy and quality of life.

House Bill 10-1188 is now before the Colorado Legislature. This legislation clarifies that a river guide employed by a licensed river outfitter and the guide's passengers may float on waterways that have historically been used for commercial float trips without committing civil trespass, and may make incidental contact with the bed or banks of a river solely to portage around dangerous hazards and proceed downstream without fear of criminal prosecution. Thus, the bill promotes recreational activities on the one hand and prevents paddlers from having to face life and death hazards on the other.

But House Bill 10-1188 fails to provide these same protections to private boaters on these commercially rafted stretches of river. Private boaters, too, must be able to portage around such dangerous hazards. They, too, should be able to float downstream and enjoy Colorado's recreational resources without fear of civil litigation or criminal charges should incidental contact with the beds or banks of a river be necessary to safely navigate a waterway. The bill explicitly states that it is designed to safeguard the public's health, safety, and welfare, but its limited scope fails to safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of private boaters.

As a constituent, I respectfully but strongly urge you to include all boaters within the scope of HB-1188 and enact it into law.

Thank you for considering the comments of recreation enthusiasts like myself as you consider this important legislation.
Join American Whitewater!
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Old 02-11-2010   #98
Andy H.'s Avatar
Wheat Ridge, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,909
Admin's Note: the currently active threads on this topic have been merged and some duplicate or irrelevant posts deleted.


Please do this even if you think your legislators are already a lock to support the bill, or are adamantly opposed to it

If you're not sure who to call, use this website: COMaps: Find Your Elected District
Nothing in the world is more yielding and gentle than water. Yet it has no equal for conquering the resistant and tough. The flexible can overcome the unbending; the soft can overcome the hard. - Lao Tse
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Old 02-11-2010   #99
Lakewood, Colorado
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 504
Just called my reps as well as the ones listed above. The only one whose mailbox was full was Gerou.

Rep. Riesberg actually answered the phone at 9:15 and stated he is supporting the bill.
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Old 02-11-2010   #100
Boulder, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Here is my problem with HB 1188---

Current Colorado law greatly limits stream access to the public in favor of landowners who own property adjacent to streams or lakes. Right now, private boaters or commercial rafters floating down a Colorado waterway, adjacent to private property, are liable for a civil trespass violation. If they portage around an obstacle or “touch down” on that same waterway, they could be prosecuted for a criminal trespass. The status quo denies the public’s right to stream access and threatens the state’s rafting and fishing industries.

If passed, HB 1188 would create two classes of water users. Commercial rafters would enjoy access to all streams where they currently operate and be able to avoid trespass charges. But those who cannot afford to pay, or who choose not to pay for stream access, such as recreational anglers or private boaters, would remain subject to trespass violations. Moreover, the language in the bill that protects commercial rafters clearly implies that others are not entitled to protection, and thus could embolden private landowners to bring actions against
private users of Colorado waterways.

The reason that private boaters are excluded from the bill is because priavte boaters have not been involved in the discussion. There is currently no reason for legislators to include
private boaters if we are not willing to engage in this bill.

Here are the reasons I think we need to amend the bill this year...

1)the time, effort, and money it takes to pass a bill through the state legislature.

2)the political climate in Colorado to revisit this issue might not be this favorable next year
3)commercial and private boaters are natural allies and should be working together to pass meaningful reform
4)adding private boaters would not bring additional opposition to the bill
5)the bill, as written, may actually hurt access for private boaters if it passes in its current form.

If we are not involved in this bill, how are private boaters going to raise the money it takes to get our own legislation passed? By my count, the commercial boaters had at least four professional lobbyists working on this bill at the first hearing, as well as one of the best water attorneys in the state. Some of those lobbyists have been posting to this site. They have been working on this legislation since last summer.

Political climate
The legislature and Governor's office is in the hands of the Democrats this year. It is clear that
Democrats are more receptive to a public right of river access than the Republicans... Given the uncertainty of the political landscape in Colorado, and the difficulty and expense of running legislation, doesn't it make sense to try and pass real reform now?

Commercial and private boaters are natural allies

The lobbyists, and the commercial outfitters, would all like to see private boaters added to the bill. They are all private boaters themselves! They know that it could be a long time before this issue is revisited by the legislature.

Adding private boaters would not bring additional opposition to the bill

Rep. Curry thought that by excluding the private boaters the bill would get less opposition from the ranching community. It did not work. The Colorado Cattlemen, Club 20, the Realtors, and the Farm Bureau (to name a few) are all opposed. Even with all that opposition, the bill still easily passed out of committee (7-3) with some Republican support.

The current version may hurt privateboaters

At the hearing, the Eagle County District Attorney, who was speaking on behalf of the other DAs in the state, said in the legislative hearing, "this bill will finally draw a bright line of when landowners can call the police (for trespassing) and when they cannot." The DAs are in favor of clarifying the right of public access. Guess what side of the new "bright line" private boaters will be on if this bill passes?

At the hearing, attorneys on both sides of the issue were in agreement. There is currently no legally-recognized right to float in Colorado, and this bill only gives that right to commercial outfitters.
Most landowners don't know about their right to exclude boaters from floating through their property. This bill has raised public awareness and we may see more private boaters targeted by landowners in the future. Certainly the developer on the Taylor, who started the current controversy, would not hesitate to call the sheriff if he saw a private group floating
through his property. Heck, even a landowner on the Colorado River could exclude private boaters from floating through his property if he wanted to. It only would take one landowner and a willing sheriff and access would be closed.

Given that every other state allows the right to float, (including the ultra-liberal Utah, Montana, and Wyoming!) why should we settle for any less?
OF COURSE the outfitters should have the right to float on the Taylor... and every other river that can float a boat. I would like to support the bill. But right now, as it is written, it is unfair and may harm the rights of private boaters.
It looks like this thing has the traction it will need to get through the House. If we have any chance of amending it at all, we probably need to focus on the State Senate.


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