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-   -   NEED YOUR HELP FIGHTING SENATE BILL 122 (https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f11/need-your-help-fighting-senate-bill-122-a-12048.html)

KUpolo 02-13-2007 09:15 AM

NEED YOUR HELP FIGHTING SENATE BILL 122
 
Please contact your legislators in the next day or two regarding Section 17 of Senate Bill 122

Summary:
The Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB) has requested $150,000 of your tax payer dollars to do what they are calling an "objective" study of Recreational in-channel diversion (RICD) water rights. These are the water rights that are keeping water in our playparks.

Historically, the CWCB has been opposed to every single RICD claim. In essence, they are trying to use our money to get rid of our water rights.

As Access Director for Colorado Whitewater, I am urging the boating community to get behind the following talking points and IMMEDIATELY contact your legislators on the subject.

Talking Points
•The CWCB has been a vigorous opponent of recreational in-channel diversion (“RICD”) water rights. They have opposed every RICD claim and cannot reasonably be expected to do the “objective” study called for in the legislation.

•Last year’s RICD legislation (SB 06-37) limited the CWCB’s authority over RICDs. This new proposal is directly at odds with the recent legislation, and undermines the comity and compromise struck in the last legislative session. This appropriation will spark another legislative battle.

•The CWCB has no role in “determining whether there are objectively determinable flows for different recreational uses.” The reasonableness of flow rates for a RICD is a determination reserved for the water court under SB –37. Even under the earlier version of the RICD statute (SB01-216), the CWCB did not have authority over quantification of RICDs, and was strongly admonished by the Supreme Court in the Gunnison decision for overstepping its statutory authority on this point.

•The clear direction from both the Gunnison decision and SB-37 is that RICDs must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. CWCB’s effort to develop “objective flows” for types of recreational uses is directly counter to that instruction.

•This new funding request is more of the continuing effort by the CWCB to spend public funds to develop another report that will be used to oppose the efforts of local governments to obtain RICDs.

•The “other relevant factors” identified in SB-37 include the benefits of the RICD to a community. This will be different for every river and every community. Moreover, the CWCB has taken the position in court that the economic benefit of RICDs is irrelevant to securing a water right. (See CWCB’s Motion in Limine in Steamboat RICD Trial.) Despite many water court rulings indicating this issue is extremely relevant, the CWCB has consistently declined to prepare any report when it could be tested in court. They should not be allowed to now spend taxpayer money on a study that will not be subject to rigorous scrutiny.

Others supporting our stance
Along with Colorado Whitewater the following organizations and local governments have signed on to these arguments against Section 17 of SB122:

Eagle River Water & Sanitation District
San Juan Citizens Alliance
Upper Eagle Water Authority
Western Resource Advocates
Vail Associates
City of Steamboat Springs
Trout Unlimited
Colorado Environmental Coalition
Colorado Conservation Voters


Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions.

Contact information for your legislators can be found at this link: http://www.leg.state.co.us/Clics/Cli...y?openframeset

Thanks for your help,
Dan

paddlebizzle 02-13-2007 03:33 PM

Bump!
This stuff is serious!

In the amount of time that you can
a) Vote for Hobie;
b) look at the post about the ass who ripped down the slalom gates in confluence; and
c) ponder about what Bailey drop is featured in AW Mag,

you can send a note to protect the water and make sure your voice is heard. We've done it before and we can do it again.

Step it up, wankers!

JT

bkp 02-13-2007 04:03 PM

I will add my voice to this by contacting the two Pueblo state senators.

-B

mjpowhound 02-13-2007 05:51 PM

Thanks for the heads up Dan. I just fired off this email:

Senator Tochtrop:

I voted for you in November and am writing now to ask you to oppose section 17 of Senate Bill 122 concerning recreational water rights. As a recreational kayaker, I am concerned about the proposed study by the Colorado Water Conservation Board and their ability and authority to conduct an objective study of recreational in-channel diversion rights for the following reasons:

•The CWCB has been a vigorous opponent of recreational in-channel diversion (“RICD”) water rights. They have opposed every RICD claim and cannot reasonably be expected to do the “objective” study called for in the legislation.

•Last year’s RICD legislation (SB 06-37) limited the CWCB’s authority over RICDs. This new proposal is directly at odds with the recent legislation, and undermines the comity and compromise struck in the last legislative session. This appropriation will spark another legislative battle.

•The CWCB has no role in “determining whether there are objectively determinable flows for different recreational uses.” The reasonableness of flow rates for a RICD is a determination reserved for the water court under SB –37. Even under the earlier version of the RICD statute (SB01-216), the CWCB did not have authority over quantification of RICDs, and was strongly admonished by the Supreme Court in the Gunnison decision for overstepping its statutory authority on this point.

•The clear direction from both the Gunnison decision and SB-37 is that RICDs must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. CWCB’s effort to develop “objective flows” for types of recreational uses is directly counter to that instruction.

•This new funding request is more of the continuing effort by the CWCB to spend public funds to develop another report that will be used to oppose the efforts of local governments to obtain RICDs.

•The “other relevant factors” identified in SB-37 include the benefits of the RICD to a community. This will be different for every river and every community. Moreover, the CWCB has taken the position in court that the economic benefit of RICDs is irrelevant to securing a water right. (See CWCB’s Motion in Limine in Steamboat RICD Trial.) Despite many water court rulings indicating this issue is extremely relevant, the CWCB has consistently declined to prepare any report when it could be tested in court. They should not be allowed to now spend taxpayer money on a study that will not be subject to rigorous scrutiny.

The following organizations and local governments have also signed on to these arguments against Section 17 of SB122:

Eagle River Water & Sanitation District
San Juan Citizens Alliance
Upper Eagle Water Authority
Western Resource Advocates
Vail Associates
City of Steamboat Springs
Trout Unlimited
Colorado Environmental Coalition
Colorado Conservation Voters

Boaters are a unique player in the water rights dilemma in that we are able to use the water without consuming or polluting it; we have no effect on the quantity or quality of water available to other users.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Josh Tetreault

cemartin 02-13-2007 09:05 PM

Now that's some politics we should actually be talking about. Let's get em boys... and girls.

KUpolo 02-13-2007 09:44 PM

Thanks Josh. This is exactly what we are looking for. The bill is up for vote in the Senate Ag committee on Thursday. I suspect that it will get out of there and then we will be faced with a vote in the general assembly where hopefully it will die a quick painful death.

Keep at 'em guys!!

RiverWrangler 02-13-2007 11:24 PM

DO IT. Just put your name at the top of powhounds letter and fire it off to your state senator and even to any sneator whos district is one that you regularly paddle in. DO IT.

deepsouthpaddler 02-14-2007 08:28 AM

Done.

I look at this kind of stuff as the "civil rights movement for boaters". We have to stand up for our rights, or they will be trampled by the powerful interests that have opposing viewpoints. Its easy to take things for granted, but its the continuous work of groups like Colorado Whitewater and American Whitewater that help keep our rivers clean, open to boater access, and keep water in them.

It's easy to think someone else will do it, or that it will get done anyway, but it won't. These issues and the two groups in particular need our support. The more people that support, the more we can all get done. If you like having a legal putin for the numbers (thanks AW!), or if you like surfing and playing in the BV or Salida parks, or if you like dusting off the skills in golden in the early season, take the time to send a note.

Also take the time to think about membership to CW or AW. Each is a small donation, and you get magazines from both. Cool reading. Way worth the cash.

Preaching to the choir, I know, but there are lots of folks for whatever reason don't make or don't have the time, or the cash to support this type of stuff. How important is boating to you? Do you want your kids to be able to boat? This month's AW Journal lists colorado as its number 1 river issue. Supporting AW means supporting colorado boating too. There are still many battles to be fought, and these groups need all of our support.

asleep.at.the.oars 02-14-2007 08:47 AM

Bump.
I wrote my senator.
Dan, could you please let us know if this hits the house and needs another round of letters?
Unfortunately, I only rarely have time for anything more than play parks these days - it would really suck if they were dried up.

BastrdSonOfElvis 02-14-2007 08:50 AM

Rise up, fellow paddlers!! The bastille is this way!!

I'm writing letters from Iraq. It's that important. Do it. Do it.


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