Just a reminder about closures due to high water.. - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 05-23-2005   #1
 
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 130
Just a reminder about closures due to high water..

Source: Colorado Statutes : TITLE 33 WILDLIFE AND PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION : PARKS AND OUTDOOR RECREATION : ARTICLE 13 VESSELS : 33-13-111. Authority to close waters.

33-13-111. Authority to close waters.
Statute text

(1) (a) The board shall promulgate rules to prohibit the operation of vessels on any waters of the state and ordering the removal of vessels from any waters of the state when such operation constitutes or may constitute a hazard to human life or safety.

(b) For purposes of this subsection (1), "vessels" shall not include whitewater canoes and kayaks except in the case of:

(I) A state of disaster emergency pursuant to section 24-32-2104 or 24-32-2109, C.R.S.;

(II) Disaster relief efforts that are underway and that may include debris removal;

(III) An accident or other emergency that occurs in or immediately adjacent to the water body;

(IV) Rescue efforts for victims that are actively underway and such efforts would be hindered by additional waterway traffic; or

(V) Active construction or transportation projects authorized under state or federal law.

(2) Any parks and recreation officer or other peace officer as defined in section 33-10-102 has the authority to enforce the provisions of this section under the rules promulgated by the board.

(3) Any person who fails to obey an order issued under this section is guilty of a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars.
History

Source: L. 84: Entire article added, p. 904, § 2, effective January 1, 1985. L. 95: (3) amended, p. 973, § 22, effective July 1. L. 2003: (1) and (3) amended, p. 1948, § 24, effective May 22.
Annotations

ANNOTATION
Annotations

Am. Jur.2d. See 12 Am. Jur.2d, Boats and Boating, § 6.

Applied in People v. Boyd, 642 P.2d 1 (Colo. 1982).

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Old 05-23-2005   #2
 
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that's nice to know, but whatcha gettin' at?

maybe specifically the exclusion of whitewater canoes and kayaks?
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Old 05-23-2005   #3
 
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 130
You got it.

I suspect with the rising water, some communities might take it upon themselves to try to close streams that are at flood stage.

A couple of years ago (2 ?) there was a near drowing of a tuber in Boulder Creek that resulted in a closure of Boulder Creek. I remember hearing that some places where taking a very strict reading of the statue and if you were "swimming" they took it as a violation.


Probably if you do run into a closure situation, the best bet is to not try to get in the face of whoever is patroling the stream and be understanding of the difficult position they might be in (orders from above, etc.). Contact their department with the above information.

Also... if you do happen to take a swim, and your craft does head down stream without a body in it, probably a good idea to let the authorites know asap what type of boat, color, description, etc. so that they do not go looking for a body somewhere.
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Old 05-22-2008   #4
 
Boulder, Colorado
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Bump for upcomming possible high water

Just bumping this up...
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Old 05-22-2008   #5
dq
 
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
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closures

[quote=Cheyenne;18951]You got it.

I suspect with the rising water, some communities might take it upon themselves to try to close streams that are at flood stage. quote]

I'm surprised there has been no mention of closing down the Elk River here in North Routt County. Highest recorded levels yesterday.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today: Elk River at record level
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Old 05-22-2008   #6
 
Littleton, Colorado
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direct link

Here's the link to the parks dept site with the pdf of the regs:

Boating Rules and Regulations - Colorado State Parks
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Old 05-22-2008   #7
 
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West of Boulder, Colorado
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Boulder Creek

I was there at Boulder Creek, when the police tried to close it to everyone, but soon realized that they could not and reopened it for boaters, not tubers. OMG, tubers, I saw a lady that got out and was scraped from head to toe, bloody with barley any clothes left on.
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Old 05-22-2008   #8
 
Littleton, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1998
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some interesting details in the regs

I just did a search for "kayak" in the regs pdf and came across this:

c. Use Restriction means any order issued prohibiting
the operation of vessels and single-chambered air-inflated
devices on any waters of the state and requiring the removal
of vessels and single-chambered air-inflated devices from any
waters when such operation constitutes, or may constitute, a
hazard to human life or safety. A use restriction order shall
apply to whitewater canoes or kayaks.

doesn't seem quite so cut-and-dry. I guess--wait...

aha--here's the key:
b. A hazard to human life and safety shall not be deemed to
exist based solely upon the rivers flow rate, which is usually
measured in cubic feet per second.

here the full text that concerned me:
3. A use restriction order shall be issued by a peace officer
whenever the peace officer determines that a hazard to human
life and safety exists within his jurisdiction.
a. For the purpose of issuing a use restriction order, a peace
officer may deem a hazard to human life and safety to exist
whenever one or more of the following circumstances or
conditions exists:
(1) A state of disaster emergency has been declared to exist
pursuant to 24-32-2104 or 24-32-2109, C.R.S.
(2) Disaster relief efforts, which may include debris removal,
are underway.
(3) An accident or other emergency occurs in or immediately
adjacent to the waterbody.
(4) Rescue efforts for victims are actively underway and such
efforts would be hindered by additional waterway traffic, or
(5) Active construction or transportation projects authorized
under state or federal law.
b. A hazard to human life and safety shall not be deemed to
exist based solely upon the rivers flow rate, which is usually
measured in cubic feet per second.

looks all good...def. worth being familiar with, even printing and keeping a copy in the car at the put-in or in the dry bag...
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Old 05-22-2008   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay H View Post
Here's the link to the parks dept site with the pdf of the regs:

Boating Rules and Regulations - Colorado State Parks
33-13-111. Authority to close water.
(1) (a) The board shall promulgate rules to prohibit the operation
of vessels on any waters of the state and ordering the
removal of vessels from any waters of the state when such
operation constitutes or may constitute a hazard to human
life or safety.
(b) For purposes of this subsection (1), vessels shall not
include white water canoes and kayaks except in the
case of:
(I) A state of disaster emergency pursuant to section
24-32-2104 or 24-32-2109, C.R.S.;
(II) Disaster relief efforts that are underway and that may
include debris removal;
(III) An accident or other emergency occurs in or immediately
adjacent to the water body;
(IV) Rescue efforts for victims are actively underway and
such efforts would be hindered by additional waterway
traffic, or
(V) Active construction or transportation projects
authorized under state or federal law.
(2) Any parks and recreation officer or other peace officer as defined
in section 33-10-102 has the authority to enforce the provisions
of this section under the rules promulgated by the board.
(3) Any person who fails to obey an order issued under this section
is guilty of a class 2 petty offense and, upon conviction, shall
be punished by a fine of one hundred dollars.
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Old 05-22-2008   #10
 
Boulder, Colorado
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Keeping a printed copy of the state reg in a dry bag might not be a bad idea. If confronted, be courteous, remember, the officer is just trying to do their job and may not be fully aware of the state regulation.

And also note that if an agency does decided to try to close a section to kayakers (or multi-chameberd rafts) because of "safety" reasons, it might be a good idea to contact the attorney responsible for the jurisdiction (e.g. city attorney, etc.) and let them be aware that the agency might now be responsible for any injuries once the signs go down (because the agency has now determined that the water is safe).
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