Now what's to gain by going in there and rubbing this in their faces?FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Will Coyne, 720-308-7931, [email protected]
River Outfitters Claim Victory in Rafting Dispute, Withdraw Ballot Initiatives
Colorado boaters celebrated a long awaited victory today when Texas real estate developer Lewis Shaw officially backed off his quest to block boating next to his property on the Taylor River, near Gunnison. With the high profile dispute over floating rights complete, the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA) agreed to withdraw their four proposed “right-to-float” ballot measures and pledged to continue to discuss statewide solutions with stakeholders this summer.
“Today is a great day for boaters,” said CROA President Bob Hamel. “Now boaters on the Taylor can continue to float that beautiful river that they have been floating for decades.”
Two local rafting companies and Shaw’s attorneys came to a negotiated agreement this week over the terms of floating near Shaw’s property on the Taylor that will ensure floating continues without threat of lawsuit for years to come.
The dispute on the Taylor River began in December of 2009, when Shaw’s attorney sent a letter to two long-standing Taylor River rafting companies threatening legal action against rafters that floated past his property. The dispute gave rise to HB10 - 1188, a bill to clarify the rights of boaters to float Colorado’s rivers, and four subsequent proposed ballot measures promoted by rafters and anglers.
“With the Taylor River open for rafting, outfitters feel comfortable withdrawing our ballot measures this year so we can get back home to focus on our businesses”, explained Hamel.
After withdrawing their proposed ballot measures, the commercial rafting industry committed to participating in ongoing discussions around floating rights with Gov. Ritter and other stakeholders throughout the summer and fall.
“Commercial rafters are committed to being good neighbors to adjacent landowners and conscious stewards of Colorado’s rivers“, said Hamel. “We look forward to continuing conversations with landowners and other river enthusiasts about how best to ensure that Colorado’s rivers can be enjoyed by all.”
Yep, this is a bad idea, in my view.
One of the major concerns that landowners and legislators expressed in opposition to HB 1188, was that there are hoards of paddlers waiting in the wings to float on Colorado rivers, and that by granting a "right to float" there would be large groups floating thru private property regularly. This is simply not the case, as AW and CW communicated in Senate testimony, landowner meetings, etc. This demonstration will do only harm!
A demonstration float could:
1) prove the landowners concerns have standing
2) threaten a delicate truce on the Taylor, and
3) further complicate paddler-landowner relations on other rivers in the state ( Blue, Elk, Willow Creek, Uncompahgre, Arkansas, etc...) where access issues are burning.
I think a demonstration float would also undermine the efforts of paddling advocates like AW and CW to represent the general publics interests in ongoing access negotiations. If we, as paddlers, can't get on the same page, how will our efforts have any traction in the future?
A demonstration float at this time will only make things worse on so many levels. And for what - what's the point?
Call it off!
Yeah, I'm sure Rosa Parks didn't have permission from any groups either.From what I know there's no involvement by either AW of CW in this. If these groups are not involved, this is a really BAD idea to do without the organizations that have been working on Colorado access for years and have been successful in the past. Holding this rally could seriously undermine the effort these groups have put into the fight to date, or will put into it later. There's a lot going on behind the scenes that we don't know about and that if it were made public would be counterproductive for the cause. Please don't do this without involvement of AW and CW.
Seems like faulty logic. You have the right to float the Taylor now and people are floating it now. You don't need anyones permission so what's to protest? Why make an issue where none currently exists? Seems kinda odd.Yeah, I'm sure Rosa Parks didn't have permission from any groups either.
Don't make me go and agree with you! Oops, too late. I agree.Seems like faulty logic. You have the right to float the Taylor now and people are floating it now. You don't need anyones permission so what's to protest? Why make an issue where none currently exists? Seems kinda odd.
Whats the problem with floating this> we have "permission" now, right? or was that just for the outfitters....
My county has a history of letting boaters float as long as they don't touch the shore or the bottom. That's what I plan to do on the 17th.
What a bunch of pussies... You claim to have the right to float but refuse to stand up for it? The attitudes displayed by some of you are the very same attitudes that have aided and abetted each and every thug, bully and dictator the world has ever known. When will it be enough? What will we have to loose before you put your big boy pants on?
To those that think there's no reason to protest, or nothing to be gained - You haven't been paying attention - this isn't over, not by a long shot. Lewis Shaw and his ilk have shifted the target to the public's back. They made peace with the commercial rafters and took a lot of the money and influence out of the game just to make the public an easier target.
Oh well, this is how these things usually go - a brave few charge in while the rest stand around like sheep at the slaughter. If you believe you have the right to float you'd better be willing to fight for it. I do, and I am.