OFFICE OF GOV. BILL RITTER, JR.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 2010
Non-media: Office of Boards and Commissions, 303.866.6380, [email protected]
Gov. Bill Ritter’s office is now accepting applications through Aug. 6 for a new River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force, a working group of up to 17 members that will present the Governor and lawmakers with recommendations by the end of the year.
The Governor created the task force to help craft a dispute-resolution process to resolve future conflicts between river users and private landowners on Colorado waterways. The task force follows heated debate that occurred earlier this year over proposed legislation, a specific dispute along the Taylor River and the introduction of several ballot measures which have since been withdrawn.
“The charge of this new task force is not to resolve the longstanding legal and policy dispute over whether there exists or ought to exist a ‘right to float’ in Colorado,” Gov. Ritter said. “Instead, the task force’s charge is to establish a framework for landowners and boaters to efficiently and fairly resolve disputes over the use of rivers as they arise.
“Private landowners invest untold sums into maintaining and enhancing the waterways that run through their lands,” the Governor added. “And more tourists come to Colorado to raft than in any other state; this activity alone generates $132 million per year in revenue. It is in the interest of the entire state that landowners and rafters have a means of resolving their disputes in a manner that keeps waterways open to rafting while respecting the interests and investments of private landowners.”
The charge of the task force is to develop a framework for resolving conflicts among landowners, anglers, commercial rafters, and the boating public on a stretch-by-stretch basis as disputes arise. The group will:
· Hold two public meetings in different parts of the state to gather stakeholder input.
· Hold at least four other open meetings to evaluate the public input and consider options for a dispute-resolution process.
· Prepare a final report with recommendations for the Governor and legislature by Dec. 31.
For more information, visit the Boards and Commissions website
or call 303.866.6380.