Here is some more information from Dennis Adams of RMCC.
Dear Paddling Friends, Concerning the Grand Valley River Park--a
> project that would be a million dollar plus windfall gift to boaters
> from the US Government. We have our funding, our plans drawn up, we have
> the blessings of the Federal, State, and local governments. We have
> permission to proceed and the good graces of the local and state
> entities that were once suspicious, even hostile. The local public and
> media are behind us. Construction bids are ready to put out in 25 days.
> I wish I could share that all is well.
> At the last moment we have a very major hang-up --the Southern
> Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroad. They recently informed us in
> writing that they will not give the public access to the only land route
> leading to our river park. Their service road, which local private
> entities have used for decades, will be available for construction crews
> but not the public. Without their permission for public access the
> Bureau of Reclamation cannot include the whitewater park features in
> with their plans for a fishladder.
> Sensing safety and liability concerns we have made formal offers
> to fence the tracks off from road. The Town of Palisade has offered
> liability insurance. Until recently we had verbal assurances that they
> (SP&BN) would be able to accommodate us. Their recent letter stating
> other intentions was an unplanned for surprise. Their conduct
> afterwards, that of being unapproachable is even more alarming and
> perhaps gives validity to the long held stereotypes about railroads
> being above society. Without giving reasons or offering any form of
> communication they have retreated into a shell back at their
> headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. Without their permission this
> whitewater park project is over.
> We have 25 days in which to encourage them to formally change
> their minds and grant permission or the party's over for what would be
> one of the best whitewater parks in the country. Our first need is
> simply to get their attention. They are not answering calls or letter.
> One thought is that we need to work through their stockholders and
> customers but that is certainly not easy. (Anyone out there own a coal
> mine or a few hundred SP&BN shares? )
> Another Avenue of approach is our elected representatives. We are
> working to get the help of Ken and John Salazar. (John Salazar is the GJ
> area US House representative.) Both are very new to the National
> political scene and will need help from their peers. Your help by
> writing to these people will impress them how important this is. As
> significant and perhaps more affective would be any help at all you can
> possible silicate from other representatives. We are also approaching
> Wayne Allard whose roots are more on the eastern slope. Some letters to
> him from other parts of Colorado (especially the Front Range) would
> surely impress him of the regional interest.
> Finally we need for you to spread this message out as far as
> possible. We very much need to get a lot of action in a short time. It
> is important to emphasize that this park is not just some small town's
> pet project or the play area for a few locals. With high water flows up
> to 40,000 CFS and (three) four-foot high, riverwide drops coming after
> swift water lead-in it would have big water features offered at no other
> whitewater park in this country. The site would be natural for regional
> and national wildwater racing events. The runnout pools below the drops
> make it a great venue for paddling instruction and for youth programs.
> Being at an altitude that is thousands of feet lower than other regional
> parks and having a dependable winter flow will certainly make this site
> a major off-season training site for racers (both slalom and wildwater),
> rodeo and freestyle types, and as well for recreational paddlers.
> Without some immediate action this park will not happen. Once
> again thanks for your help~~Dennis
> The webpage link is http://www.grandvalleyriverpark.org
and the address
> is UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD CO. Dick Davidson, Chairman and CEO Union
> Pacific Building 1416 Dodge St.
> Omaha, NE 68179
> Phone: 402/271-5000
Here is contact information that may be helpful:
> Allard, Wayne - (R - CO) Class II
> 525 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
> (202) 224-5941
> Web Form: allard.senate.gov/contactme
> Salazar, Ken - (D - CO) Class III
> UNITED STATES SENATE WASHINGTON DC 20510
> (202) 224-5852
> Salazar, John T
> 1531 Longworth House Office Building
> Washington, D.C. 20515-0603
> Phone: (202) 225-4761
> Find your Representative: