Here’s the release from Governor Ritter’s office (Theo Stein/Evan Dreyer):
Gov. Bill Ritter today announced he has appointed 17 members to the River Access Dispute Resolution Task Force. The Task Force was created to help craft a dispute-resolution process to resolve future conflicts between river users and private landowners on Colorado waterways.
The Task Force appointments follow heated debate that occurred earlier this year over proposed legislation, a specific dispute along the Taylor River and the introduction of several ballot measures which have since been withdrawn.
The Governor appointed the following 14 members to serve as voting members of the Task Force. The terms expire at the pleasure of the Governor:
- Robert A. Hamel of Howard
- Greg Felt of Salida
- G. David Costlow of Fort Collins
- Thomas J. Klienschnitz of Grand Junction
- Leslie A. Tyson of Denver
- Jay P.K. Kenny of Denver
- Lee L. Spann of Gunnison
- James R. Ford of Pagosa Springs
- John G. Leede of Greenwood Village
- Charles B. White of Denver
- Jay Fetcher of Clark
- Paul C. Crane of Boulder
- Sen. Dan Gibbs of Silverthorne
-Undersheriff Richard D. Besecker of Gunnison
He also appointed three members to serve as non-voting members of the Task Force, also with terms expiring at the please of the Governor:
- Rebecca Swanson of Denver, to serve as a co-chair of the Task Force from the Governor’s Office
- Patrick D. Tooley of Denver, to serve as a non-voting ex-officio member and as a legal advisor to the Task Force
- Carolyn F. Burr of Denver, to serve as a non-voting ex-officio member and as a legal advisor to the Task Force
The executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, or a selected designee, will also serve as a co-chair. The charge of the Task Force is to develop a framework for resolving conflicts among landowners, anglers, commercial rafters, and the boating public on a stretch-by-stretch basis as disputes arise. The group will:
- Hold two public meetings in different parts of the state to gather stakeholder input.
-Hold at least four other open meetings to evaluate the public input and consider options for a dispute-resolution process.
- Prepare a final report with recommendations for the Governor and Legislature by Dec. 31.
More coverage from The Pueblo Chieftain (Patrick Malone). From the article:
The task force was created to help craft a dispute-resolution process to resolve future conflicts between river users and private landowners on Colorado waterways. During this year’s legislative session, a bill seeking to clarify whether rafters are entitled to float through rivers on private land failed to settle the question. The issue sprang from a dispute between a landowner along the Taylor River on the Western Slope and commercial rafters who for years had traversed the stretch through the land that the developer recently had acquired. The developer had threatened to halt passage through his property. A compromise was struck, avoiding about two dozen proposed ballot initiatives on the subject. The task force’s objective is to develop a framework for resolving conflicts between landowners, commercial rafters, anglers and the boating public on a stretch-by-stretch basis as disputes arise.
More whitewater coverage here.