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Old 01-01-2010   #11
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 403
High Water Mark Law

Kathleen is a consensus maker. Her bill will not be strong to our way of thinking, but she is solid and makes things happen. She headed the RICD legislation that solidified whitewater parks right to exist and strengthened the in-stream water rights for WW Parks. The RICD bill though also limited how much water parks could claim and set some guidelines. So I would expect this bill will do good things like solidfy a certain right-to-float. It will also likely limit it to things like "Historical Commercial" which is severely liimiting for dirtbag creekboaters.

What Colorado needs is what Montana and Idaho Have. All land below the Normal High Water Mark(The 1.5 year statistical event) is state-owned land. Anybody can hike or float any stream in those states. In Montana you can walk right through Ted Turners land on the great trout streams that run through the property. That is the right thing to do for All Coloradans, that is the legislation that works in other western states. That is also the legislation that improves the lives of everyday Coloradons. To preserve the legacy of the Outdoors Life in Colorado and to guarantee the citizens of the right to fish and recreate on its natural resources, Colorado needs the high water mark law.
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Old 01-01-2010   #12
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craporadon View Post
What Colorado needs is what Montana and Idaho Have. All land below the Normal High Water Mark(The 1.5 year statistical event) is state-owned land. Anybody can hike or float any stream in those states. In Montana you can walk right through Ted Turners land on the great trout streams that run through the property.
I'm no expert here, I know just enough to be dangerous. What you say is essentially true, but it's got to be "navigable" (perhaps year-round?), and doesn't include man-made waterways. So while "big" raftable/boatable rivers are safe, I bet people aren't floating down the Ruby River through Ted's property. There's a lot of controversy on the law here too, and if you have money you'll lock it up in court and shut access down. Fortunately this law is held dear by 99% of the people, and one lame landowner can cause a law to change the next legislative session.

One other thing that has come up is using public bridges as access. The law provides for public right of way along roads/bridges to be used as public access to public water-ways. But the property owners are allowed to fence up to the road fence, or the bridge (for livestock), which creates access issues. So while this is also allowed, in sensitive areas it is dealt with case-by-case. Unfortunately the focus is usually on the walk-in fisherperson by providing a fence-gate which is passable to a person, but you couldn't get a boat through. So the law sounds great, but implementation isn't what some may assume. But it sounds a lot better than some other laws in neighboring states. I highly recommend it!

Good luck to you all, public waterways are a public wealth of immeasurable value.
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