I just received an action alert from a local-Durango based- conservation group which I will include. RDNEK had a good synopsis and I agree with M Harvey that this bill must be aggressively fought. It is bad for current water parks, as their rights will be questioned and possibly challenged in costly court battles. It is bad for any Cities looking at getting RICDs. In general it will make it harder to justify leaving water in stream for recreation. It is hard enough to get an RICD as the law currently stands. Please call, write, or email your local state representative and let them know that you don't agree with SB 62. Leaving this to the fishermen to fight is passing the buck. We are the ones that use, lobby for, and build the RICDs. I think it is only right that we should take the same amount of time that many users on these forums spend ranting about the lack of good features and play parks etc. and do something constructive to save what gains have been made in CO water law that allows us to keep water in our favorite rivers. Time to activate my Brothers and Sisters, times a wastin! Here is a link where you can get contact info for your state reps:
The following is the action alert that I received from my friends at the San Juan Citizens Alliance and contact information for the state representatives from SW CO:
Act before February 10
RECREATIONAL IN CHANNEL DIVERSIONS UNDER ATTACK
Senator Jack Taylor of Steamboat has introduced SB 62 to change the conditions surrounding the appropriation of water for Recreational
In Channel Diversions. This is the type of water right that allows governmental entities like cities and counties to keep water in the stream
for use in boat parks. This is the only way that one can directly protect water in the stream in sufficient quantities for recreational
There will be a hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee on the 10th of February to consider SB 62. We need letters, calls and e-mails
to protect this right under Colorado water law. The only other Instream Flow Rights permitted under Colorado law are small amounts
that can be protected for environmental purposes. RICDs benefit the environment as well as recreation.
Protecting flows from future development
The increasing development in Colorado is causing increased diversion and damming of our rivers. If we do not act to stop this bill our
future opportunities to secure flows for water in the river will be severely limited. Water based recreation is important to many
communities and they should be able to hold rights to protect their economic interests.
Facts and Questions that our legislators should consider:
* It would retroactively diminish all existing recreation instream rights. This means that towns such as
Vail, Golden, and Aspen will lose existing rights for flows in their boat courses.
* There is a case in the Colorado Supreme Court, which would clarify existing RICD law. The legislation should not be put in place until
their decision is announced. More legislation is premature.
* Water based recreation is important to many towns. Is it fair for us to deny them this opportunity to protect quality of life and economic
development related to recreation? Durango, Gunnison and Steamboat Springs and Palisade are currently working on RICDs.
* Should we subordinate recreational use to any and all possible future upstream development, as this bill would do?
* SB 62 would limit reasons for recreational rights to use by kayaks. Does this even make sense? Is this constitutional?
Most agriculture rights are older than any recreation right. RICD's will not really harm agriculture.
Senator Isgar: 303-866-4884 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Taylor: 303-866-5292
Rep. Mark Larson: 303-866-2914 email@example.com
For More Information Call Chuck at the San Juan Citizens Alliance 970-259-3583 or