Colorado rafting outfitters, who contribute $142 million to the state'seconomy every year, won their first battle in securing rightsto float in-state rivers, reports paddlinglife.net. Developers want to prohibit rafters from providing trips on some historically paddled rivers. A Class III section of the Taylor River, which passes through private property, has brought the issue to the forefront. On Monday, February 8, the House Judiciary Committee passed the 2010 River Outfitters Viability Act (HB 1188), clarifying outfitters' rights to operate on historically run rivers. The bill is currently in smooth water before it faces the Colorado House of Representatives.
“It is a very important step in a sensitive issue,” says guide andriver advocate Danny Andres. “If you’re a private boater or commercialrafter, there’s the potential of losing access to many of Colorado'srivers; if you’re a retailer selling paddlesports gear there’s apossibility that your sales will be impacted due to fewer rivers topaddle.”