December 22, 2012
From The Denver Post (Jason Blevins):
Judge William Martinez ruled that the Forest Service’s revision of 2011 and 2012 permit regulations governing water rights violated federal procedural rules, failed to evaluate economic impact and violated ski area rights.
Martinez sided with the National Ski Areas Association, which was suing the Forest Service over the new water rights permit rules, ordering the agency to not enforce the terms of the new rules. Martinez remanded the issue back to the Forest Service…
The agency said it changed the permit requirements to assure that ski areas never sold water rights connected to federal land.
“It’s a monetary calculation,” Department of Justice attorney Clay Samford argued in the Nov. 15 hearing. “As the value of these rights increases, it may make economic sense for ski areas to sell some rights off.”
The NSAA argued that the agency violated the Federal Administrative Procedural Act by not soliciting public input on the new rule…
Martinez’s decision only addresses the Forest Service’s procedural deficiencies when it crafted the new water directives. He did not rule on the NSAA’s substantive claims, specifically that the agency should not condition ski permits on the transfer of water rights obtained through a state process.
More Nation Ski Areas Association lawsuit coverage here.
December 22, 2012
From The Fort Morgan Times (Jenni Grubbs):
The increase, which will be effective Jan. 1, 2013, means that someone whose water bill had been $67.52 per month in 2012 would start seeing water bills around $70.65 in 2013. Yearly, the increase means about $37 more for the average residential customer…
The increase is part of a multi-staged plan to increase water rates gradually to keep up with coming large costs of infrastructure replacement and investment in water storage through the proposed Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP).
“We want to be ready for NISP,” City Manager Jeff Wells said.
Because of the city’s commitment to NISP, a number of large payments will come due for it in coming years, especially if the project gets the go-ahead from state and federal regulators.
“NISP will have significant impacts on the revenue requirements for the city’s water utility,” Water Resources and Utilities Director Brent Nation stated in a memo to the council. “Currently, the city pays for minor NISP expenses mostly involved in permitting the project, but construction is anticipated to begin within the next five years. Once construction begins, so does the city’s larger financial obligation to the project.”
More Northern Integrated Supply Project coverage here and here.
December 22, 2012
From the National Weather Service Grand Junction office:
…SNOW STORM TO IMPACT THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY…
A WHITE CHRISTMAS WITH IMPACTS TO HOLIDAY TRAVEL LOOKS LIKELY ACROSS PORTIONS OF SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO AS THE NEXT WINTER STORM SYSTEM TAKES AIM ON COLORADO. THIS SYSTEM WILL DROP FROM THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST INTO NORTHERN NEW MEXICO BY MONDAY EVENING…SPREADING MODERATE TO POTENTIALLY HEAVY SNOW INTO THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE REGION ON MONDAY…WITH SNOW SPREADING INTO THE SOUTHEAST MOUNTAINS AND PLAINS MONDAY NIGHT INTO CHRISTMAS DAY. THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR SOME OF THE MOUNTAIN AREAS TO RECEIVE UP TO A FOOT OF SNOW…PARTICULARLY ACROSS THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE BY TUESDAY EVENING.
SNOWFALL AMOUNTS ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST MOUNTAINS AND PLAINS ARE MORE UNCERTAIN. SOME FORECAST MODELS INDICATE THE SYSTEM WILL PICK UP STRENGTH AS IT MOVES ACROSS NORTHERN NEW MEXICO INTO THE TEXAS PANHANDLE AND WESTERN OKLAHOMA ON TUESDAY. AS IT STANDS NOW…THE SOUTHEAST MOUNTAINS AND PLAINS SHOULD SEE AT LEAST SOME WIDESPREAD LIGHT TO MODERATE SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS. HOWEVER IF THE STORM STRENGTHENS QUICKLY ENOUGH…AS SOME OF THE FORECAST SIMULATIONS SUGGEST…THEN MODERATE SNOWFALL ACCUMULATIONS WILL ALSO BE POSSIBLE ACROSS THE SOUTHEAST PLAINS.
IF YOU HAVE TRAVEL PLANS ACROSS SOUTH CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST COLORADO CHRISTMAS EVE OR CHRISTMAS DAY…BE PREPARED FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS. SNOWFALL PREDICTIONS ARE LIKELY TO CHANGE AS THE STORM APPROACHES AND THE FORECAST TRACK AND STRENGTH BECOMES MORE CERTAIN. PLEASE MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS FOR THE MOST UP TO DATE INFORMATION CONCERNING THIS DEVELOPING WINTER STORM.