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Discussion Starter #1
This year’s Recreational In-Channel Diversion bill, Senate Bill 37, passed out of the Senate Agricultural Committee and onto the Senate floor with some very problematic amendments that must be fixed immediately. We are losing the battle to protect recreational water rights and we need your help to shift the tide and get a good bill through the Senate and on to the House.


What's at stake

In current form, the bill would allow communities to claim RICD water rights for kayaking purposes only. There are many other types of current water users and potential new watercrafts that also depend on minimum flows in these parks that need to be considered.

SB 37 as introduced states that the RICD cannot protect flow amounts less than 90 percent of the decreed amount of the right. In other words, in drier years, if at least 90 percent of the RICD stream flow is not available, the RICD would not be entitled to any flow and upstream diversions could completely dry the stream. In short, during water shortages, the parks won’t be able to claim any water. We would like this threshold to be eliminated or at least lowered significantly seeing as no other water right has to comply with such stipulations.

One of Sen. Isgar’s, D-Hesperus, new amendments to the bill would require “THE OWNER OF A DECREED RICD TO REPORT MONTHLY USAGE OF THE RICD TO THE STATE ENGINEER, INCLUDING, AS A MINIMUM, THE PEAK FLOW USED, NUMBER OF KAYAKERS WHO USED THE RICD, AND DATES WHEN THE RICD WAS USED”. This amendment is a very onerous one that would make administering these water rights next to impossible.


Sen. Grossman, D-Denver, has proposed amendments that would provide the necessary resolution and protect recreational water rights. The Conservation Community opposes SB37 without the addition of Senator Grossman’s second reading amendments which would:

· Allow recreational in-channel water rights for all types of boating, not just kayaking;

· Remove overly burdensome reporting requirements including counting every kayaker in the water;

· Provide certainty to local communities that the legitimacy of the water right won’t be continuously re-litigated;

· Amend language, unique in water law, requiring 90% of the water be available in order to place a call on the water right.


What you can do
The Senate is set to vote on the bill early next week and we need you to call or write to your senators and urge them to support Sen. Grossman’s proposed amendments.

Click here to find your senator’s direct phone number:

Don't know who your senator is? Visit to find out.


Points to make- Promote whitewater recreation, protect local economies

Recreational water rights should not be treated differently than other water rights and should not be held to unreasonable and prohibitively costly standards that other water rights do not have to follow.

If SB 37 passes, the ability of local governments to acquire and use these water rights will be severely diminished. It is unlikely that local leaders will invest public funds to create these recreational amenities if the necessary stream flows cannot be protected.

Limiting the whitewater parks to kayak only is very shortsighted and would result in costly litigation for communities who want to use the parks for uses beyond kayaking.

Water-based recreation and tourism, like rafting and kayaking, contribute significantly to Colorado’s economy and quality of life.

Whitewater enthusiasts spend their afternoons, evenings and weekends not only in the whitewater parks, but in the local businesses of the communities hosting these parks.

For example, the Arkansas River contributes over $80 million annually to Chaffee County’s economy from commercial rafting and fishing, private floaters and kayakers.

The city of Golden estimates that its recreational water park brings in $1.4 to $2 million annually.


Letter-writing tips
A written letter to the editor is another of the most effective ways to express your opinion on state legislative issues. Here are some tips to help increase your likelihood of publication:

Type or write legibly.
Be concise (200-300 words is a good rule of thumb).
Clearly state your point.
Use vivid language and imagery.
Where possible, refer to editorials or articles that the paper has printed.
Recommend a course of action to the reader.
Letter can be faxed, mailed, or in most cases emailed to the paper.
Include your name, address, and phone number.
If you are sending an email, write LTE in the subject line and copy/paste LTE in the body of the message.
You can use the same talking points as above and focus on the enormous economic benefits of whitewater parks for local communities and the rapid growth in the recreational economy.

Watch for your letter to be printed. If you see it, or other articles related to state legislative issues, send them to the Colorado Environmental Coalition at 1536 Wynkoop #5C, Denver, CO 80202, attn: Kevin


Partial list of Colorado newspapers

The Denver Post
Letters to the Editor
1560 Broadway
Denver, CO 80202-1577
[email protected]
fax: (303) 820-1502
voice: (303) 820-1331

The Rocky Mountain News
Letters to the Editor
100 Gene Amole Way
Denver, CO 80204
[email protected]
fax: (303) 892-2568
voice: (303) 892-5477 (Vincent Carroll)

The Boulder Daily Camera
Mailing Address: PO Box 591
Boulder, CO 80306
Main Address: 1048 Pearl St. Boulder CO 80302
[email protected]
fax: (303) 449-9358
voice: 303-473-1305

The Fort Collins Coloradoan
1212 Riverside Ave
PO Box 1577
Fort Collins, CO 80524
Duff, Kathleen
[email protected]
voice: (970) 224-7733

The Pueblo Chieftain
PO Box 4040
825 West Sixth St.
Pueblo CO 81003
[email protected]
fax: (719) 544-5897
voice: (719) 544-3520

The Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph
30 S. Prospect St.
Colorado Springs CO 80903
[email protected]
fax: (719) 636-0202
voice: (719) 636-0210 (Sean Paige)

The Colorado Springs Independent
235 S. Nevada
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
[email protected]
fax: (719) 577-4107
voice: (719) 577-4545

The Greeley Tribune
PO Box 1690
Greeley, CO 80632
[email protected]
fax: (970) 356-5780
voice: (970) 352-0211

The Durango Herald
1275 Main Ave.
Durango, CO 81301
General Tel: (970) 247-3504
voice: 375-4560 (Bill Roberts)

Grand Junction Daily Sentinel
PO Box 668
Grand Junction, CO 81502
[email protected]
Fax: (970) 244-8578
Voice: (970) 242-5050

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent
2014 Grand Ave Glenwood Springs CO 81601-4162
[email protected] ?
Fax: (970) 945-4487
Voice: (970) 945-8515

Montrose Daily Press
PO Box 850
Montrose, CO 81402
General Tel: (970) 249-3444
Fax: (970) 249-2370
News Editor: (970) 252-7036
[email protected]

Steamboat Pilot & Today
PO Box 4827
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477
E-mail: Submit online
Fax: (970) 879-2888
Tel: (970) 879-1502

Vail Trail
PO Box 6200
Vail, CO 81658
[email protected]
Fax: (970) 328-0573
Tel: (970) 32 TRAIL

Vail Daily
40780 US Hwy 6&24
Avon, CO 81620
Tel: (970) 949-0555

Valley Courier
401 State Ave.
Alamosa, CO 81101
General Fax: (719) 589-6573
General Tel: (719) 589-2553
Ruth Heide (News Editor): [email protected]
(719) 589-2553

Summit Daily News
PO Box 329
Frisco, CO 80443-0329
[email protected]
Tel: (970) 668-3998

Aurora Sentinel
10730 E. Bethany Drive Suite 304
Aurora, CO 80014
Fax: (303) 750-7699
Tel: (303) 750-7699

Aspen Times
310 East Main Street
Aspen, CO 81611
[email protected]
Fax: (970) 925-6240
Tel: (970) 925-3414

Mountain Mail
PO Box 189
Salida, CO 81201
Tel: (719) 539-6691

Gunnison Country Times
218 N. Wisconsin
Gunnison, CO 81230
[email protected]
Fax: (970) 641-6515
Tel: (970) 641-1414

Douglas County News-Press
PO Box 1270,
Castle Rock, CO 80104
Tel: (303) 688-3128

93 Posts
Thanks for posting this information, I saw a similar alert on the American Whitewater site this morning. I've called my state senator.


3 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Mike!

We need all the support we can get to protect recreational boating and the recreation economy here in CO. Please forward info to your friends and continue to make phone calls!

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