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Old 03-10-2005   #31
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
I know the Steamboat RICD filling has cost the city over $100,000. Not sure on exact amounts.

Unfortunately, here in the Yampa Valley there are many that are fighting against this RICD. Thus, costs go up to pay for litigation. RICD's shouldn't cost that much, especially if the RICD flows can be agreed upon prior to the Colorado Water Conservation Board hearing which is the first hearing that a RICD application goes through. Identifying all upstream users to make a reasonable flow request from the get go will bring costs down.

Has Lyons even examined this? Looking at the park and the average hydrograph, what levels would kayakers like to see at a minimum for an expert level kayak play park?

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Old 03-11-2005   #32
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
Article in today's Steamboat Today, says that the Steamboat RICD has cost the city $207,000. More than half, $106,000 has gone to Porzak, Browning & Browning, for attorney fees. They've budgeted $280,000 and will probably spend more than before it's all done.

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Old 03-11-2005   #33
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 89
SB 62 was submitted by the senator from Steamboat, wasn't it? Sounds like there is a real battle going on up there, which probably helped motivate SB62.

It seems strange that it is such a large battle since Steamboat's RICD is junior to all the other water rights. Anyone know why the big battle in Steamboat?

How many cfs is Steamboat applying for?

I'm shocked and disappointed that Salida and BV haven't applied for a RICD. Since it's been done before, It should just be a simple process. I guess when others fight the RICD is when it gets expensive.
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Old 03-12-2005   #34
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
Senator Taylor, from Steamboat Springs, sponsored the bill and Tom Sharp was the main author. Tom sits on the Colorado Water Conservation Board as well as many other water roundtables and boards in the Yampa Valley and across the State. He is an expert in Colorado water law and has a practice law here in Steamboat for a long time.

The Steamboat RICD was filed for 1700 at its peak and for 120 at low flow.
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Old 03-14-2005   #35
Central, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
Wrote a letter to the paper, and another to Rep. Tom Massey. Seems like this is the last week to mobilize, as the House is likely to vote on it at the end of this week or early next week. Attaching the letter to the editor, should appear in the Mountain Mail tomorrow or the day after I hope.


Colorado House of Representatives will vote this week on a bill that
could greatly affect Salida's and state-wide economy. The bill is SB
62, titled "Limiting Recreational Water Use." I have not seen any
coverage of it the Mountain Mail, and would like to share some
information about this bill. Note that SB 62 has already passed the
Senate, and other than public input, I am not sure what could stop it
from passing the House.

In most basic terms, this bill states that "recreational in-channel
diversion (RICD) in excess of 350 CFS shall conclusively be deemed to be
wasted, and not placed to beneficial use," a statement then used as a
basis for limiting all water flows related to recreation. 350 cfs is a
one-size-fits-all approach that makes little sense (350cfs on the
Arkansas is dramatically different from 350cfs on the Colorado), and the
bill overrides the notion that RICD's are granted with a "reasonable
recreation experience" in mind. SB 62 also does not consider fishing a
beneficial use, and allows future (junior) water rights to override the
RICD rights. It is really a thinly veiled move to limit any
recreation-related water rights to preserve the future ability to shift
water between different basins. In other words, a front range city
could apply to remove Arkansas water upstream of BV, and not have to
respect our RICD right, since it is recreational.

The two cornerstones of Salida's economy are tourism and construction.
The river is the main draw for tourists, with activities ranging from
whitewater rafting and swimming to fishing, an economy that brought in
$80 million to our county in 2003. Construction has to do with people
moving here because of the quality of life Chaffee County has to offer.
I believe that our county's economy would greatly suffer should SB 62
pass -- just look all the river-related projects happening now: Salida
riverside park, Buena Vista's whitewater park, the South Main
development, FiBArk, and more. What would happen if the river had, at
best, only the minimum amount of water to float a boat?

I urge you to contact our representative Tom Massey today and to ask him
to vote against SB 62. Email him at tommas@salidaco.com or call him at
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Old 03-14-2005   #36
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
Good job Tom, and nice letter explaining why SB-62 is no good.

Here is the link regarding today's decision from the State Supreme Court and it's great news.


But still, if SB-62 passes, the courts decision may not have much punch.
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Old 03-15-2005   #37
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 97
A quick update on the status of SB 62…

A quick update on the status of SB 62…

SB 62: Limiting Recreational Water Use has been assigned to the House Ag. Committee--Penry, Gallegos, McKinley and McFayden are our targets, however, we should be working all Representatives in case it goes to the floor. So please call your representatives and ask them to oppose the bill. The more people you can get to call the better.
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Old 03-15-2005   #38
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 388
SB 62 was assigned to the house agricultural committee??? Talk about a rubber stamp! Don't waste your time with them. Of course they will approve it.

The people to focus on are the swing votes. The representatives from agricultural districts will clearly vote for it while the representatives from recreation based communities like Salida, Glenwood Springs will clearly vote against it. I expect that representatives from urban areas that have upcoming water shortages (Douglas County!) will also vote for this.

The swing votes may be the ones from the urban front range that have secure water, like Denver and areas north. And, unlike in the Senate, the urban front range has many representatives.

We should focus our lobby efforts on urban representatives that don't have water issues, like most of Denver and north. Don't call/write your representative unless he may be a swing vote, call/write a swing representative. They may ask for your address/zip code to confirm you are in their district, but only the zip code is really important.

And the good news of the Supreme Court supporting kayakers means nothing if SB 62 is passed. If anything, this ruling will encourage the opposition to argue that SB 62 is needed. SB 62 negates the ruling.
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Old 03-21-2005   #39
Master of Chaos
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 73
Today is the day that this bill is being heard in the House Ag Committee. If it passes today, we need to get fired up tommorrow and call our House Reps.

Stay tuned.
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Old 03-21-2005   #40
Central, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 90
Any news on how it went?

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