Colorado Paddling Rights in Question


Colorado's House Bill 1188, which will determine the rights of commercial rafting outfitters to paddle sections of state water where landowners don't want them, has stalled, according to In an issue pitting private landowners againstcommercial rafting companies and private floaters, outfitters, whocontribute $142 million to Colorado’s economy every year, won theirfirst battle in securing their right to float rivers in Colorado as thebill made it through the House. The bill then passed the Senate, but only after being amended to moveforward as a six-month study by the Colorado Water Congress, with areport due back in October. It now sits in the queue for HouseAppropriations.”This essentially kills the bill,” saysAmerican Whitewater's Nathan Fey, ” because nothing will happen and theCWC has already taken a strong opposing position on the issue.”

For more western water wars, check out River Impossible from our August 2003 issue.

–Stayton Bonner