Custer County Stockgrowers Association annual meeting recap #ColoradoRiver #COWaterPlan

February 27, 2014

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From The Wet Mountain Tribune (J.E. Ward):

One of the most significant issues addressed during the meeting surrounded water. It is a problem not only for the county, but the state as a whole.

“Water ownership, immunization and management are the key issues with the water problems,” Kattnig explained.

“For us, water is vital to our Valley and our industry. We know we will have to change, but it is incumbent upon us as landowners to be at the table as these decisions are being developed.”

Local water laws were developed for the mining industry here, and as industrial utilization of water declined, agriculture became the biggest user. Today, given the size of Custer County’s population and voting strength, Kattnig said that water policies can be changed. These issues affect not only Custer County and the Arkansas River Basin, but also the Colorado River, the Rio Grande and the Platte River basins.

“People in San Diego and Los Angeles have a voice in water in the Colorado River,” Kattnig said, “and indirectly there is potential impact for water in Custer County. These water laws were made through legislation, and can be changed with legislation.”[...]

Among the dignitaries in attendance were the president of the Colorado Cattlemen Association, Gene Manuello, and the Director of the Southeast Quarter and past CCA president David Mendenhall. Together they produced information concerning Senate Bill 17, which covers the use of agriculture water transfer to new municipal developments. This bill limits the percentage of water used for lawn landscaping and to promote xeriscaping.

More Arkansas River Basin coverage here.


Fourth Custer County Water Forum, March 1

February 13, 2014
Wet Mountain Valley

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From The Wet Mountain Tribune (J.E. Ward):

The Fourth Custer County Water Forum will be held on Saturday, March 1 in the Multi-Purpose room at the high school. County extension agent Robin Young explained that the conference is important for everyone.

“We might have had a lot of moisture so far this year,” Young said, “but we are always in a water crisis. Colorado is in a longer drought cycle. Though the moisture now is helpful, it depends on the spring’s showers if we produce good crops this year or not.”

Not only is the Wet Mountain Valley waiting to see if those spring rains come, but the state is in a crisis because it gives water to 18 other states, including California. As of now, many cities in California are about to run out of water and still have not adopted any water regulations.

“It impacts us greatly,” Young said. “We have strict water regulations, but they don’t.”

Young explained that the state, and the Valley, have been in a drought since the early 2000s. Climatologists have said that snow levels must consistently be met to end the drought.

The water conference is free for people to attend, though lunch will cost $3.50 or $4. The conference will focus on “Water on the Land and in the Ground.”

There will be an Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District update, an update on water issues in Custer County, a balanced approach to tying water to the land, and the use of 1041 regulations by Huerfano County to protect water resources. Other lectures are also scheduled.

For pre-registration, contact the Custer County Conservation District office at 783-2481.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Upper Arkansas River Water Conservancy District board meeting recap

March 20, 2013

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From The Mountain Mail (Joe Stone):

The Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District recently finalized acquisition of a new source of water in the Wet Mountain Valley. Attorney Kendall Burgemeister with Wilderson, Lock & Hill LLC reported at the district meeting Thursday that the judge had issued a “final signed decree” in the district’s water court case to change the use of water purchased from Hermit Basin Lodge in Custer County. The district will use the water as a source of replacement water under its augmentation plans, and engineer Ivan Walter said, now that the decree has been signed, his goal is to complete the engineering work so the district can use the water this year…

With the Colorado Legislature in session, consultant Ken Baker reported on several bills under consideration, including Senate Bill 41, which would expand the beneficial uses of water to include storage. Baker said the bill is likely to pass.

Baker also reported on SB 19, sponsored by District 5 Sen. Gail Schwarz, who has described the bill as a way to “encourage farmers and producers to take water efficiency measures or upgrade their irrigation technology.” Baker pointed out that a provision of the bill would allow senior water-rights holder to curtail their water usage without losing credit for beneficial use of the water. This would allow junior rights holders to use water that they could not otherwise use, allowing them to expand their beneficial use of the water, which would affect future water court cases.

More Arkansas River Basin coverage here and here.


Custer County: The Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District is pushing its augmentation plan

December 3, 2012

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From The Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

Once again, Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District board chairman Bob Senderhauf urged the county commissioners to move forward with bringing a water augmentation plan to Custer County. Such discussion ensued during a regular county commissioner’s meeting earlier this month…

…the commissioners have met in Salida with the UAWCD board. During one meeting, UAWCD board chairman Bob Senderhauf asked the county commissioners to consider signing a memorandum of understanding with the UAWCD outlining the details regarding how the two entities should proceed with bringing a proposed water augmentation plan to water court. That has yet to occur.

During the recent commissioners meeting, Senderhauf said that the UAWCD continued to pursue the building of reservoirs in the county as part of a blanket water augmentation plan, and those reservoirs would help to keep Custer County water in Custer County.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Custer County: The Round Mountain board approves water and sewer tap fees

September 15, 2012

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

During their regular monthly meeting on Sept. 6, the board of directors unanimously approved raising the fee from $9,000 to $10,500, which equates to $6,000 for a water tap and $4,500 for a sewer tap. The fee increase takes effect April 2013 to give property owners adequate time to purchase the taps at the current price even if they choose not install them until a later date.

More infrastructure coverage here and here.


Wet Mountain Valley: Round Mountain directors election results

May 27, 2012

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

Elected to the RMW board were current board members Charles Bogle with 147 votes and Chris Haga with 99 votes, followed by newcomer Ken Felty with 130 votes. Also running for a seat on the board was Dana Wyrick who received 78 votes. There were 760 eligible voters in the RMW election with 170 voters casting a vote, a 22 percent voter turnout.

The three will take office on June 7.

Rounding out the RMW board are Peggy Dunlap and Dee Hoag who were not up for re-election.

More Custer County coverage here.


The Custer County commissioners are considering the augmentation plan from the Upper Ark District, again

March 27, 2012

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Here’s an in-depth look at the history of an augmentation plan with the Upper Arkansas Water Conservation District and Custer County, from Nora Drenner writing for The Wet Mountain Tribune. Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:

A blanket water augmentation plan was brought to the table again in 2003 at the urging of the county commissioners to address the depletion of wells in Custer County. The UAWCD submitted such a plan to water court in June 2009. Once again, the proposed plan came under fire when several Valley citizens urged the county commissioners to ask the UAWCD to pull the plug, and subsequently the UAWCD voluntarily withdrew its proposed water augmentation plan. Additionally, the commissioners and the UAWCD decided to keep the line of communication open in regards to bringing another proposed water augmentation plan to Custer County. The UAWCD and commissioners also agreed at that time that there was a lack of understanding in regards to how a water augmentation plan works, and as such UAWCD would strive to educate Custer County residents and elected officials.

Moreover, the commissioners appointed an ad hoc water assessment committee to study the need for a county-wide blanket water augmentation plan in Custer County. That committee, led by commissioner Butler, concluded in June 2011 that a water augmentation problem did not currently exist, and such a problem would likely not exist for at least 10 years. According to the findings of the ad hoc water committee there were only 320 parcels in the county that are 35 acres or less that would need a water augmentation plan to get a well permit.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Custer County: Committee recommends against signing up for Upper Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District augmentation plan

July 5, 2011

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

The ad hoc committee determined there is no immediate need for any new water augmentation in the county. The committee used U.S Census Bureau statistics to determine there would be no need for any new water augmentation plan within the next ten years. The projected growth the unincorporated portion of the county for the next ten years, said the committee, is 63-to 99 new households, which is less than two percent a year.

Also, said committee members, the trend for those newcomers is to buy existing homes instead of vacant land, according to recent Custer County Sales Transaction History statistics.

In conclusion, the ad hoc committee said they would be making recommendations to the county commissioners:

–The county continue to work with the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District to address potential water needs and to insure county conditions are included in any new augmentation plan being considered.
–The commissioners become more informed and proactive in regards to local water issues.
–The commissioners convene the ad hoc committee as needed to re-evaluate the situation.
–The commissioners continue to support the current U.S. Geological Survey organization’s survey of some 60 wells in the county.

Those recommendations will be presented during the commissioners meeting slated for…Thursday, June 30.

More Custer County coverage here.


Custer County: Commissioners agree to give a fresh look at the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District’s proposed augmentation plan for the county

February 13, 2011

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

On Jan. 19 commissioners Lynn Attebery, Jim Austin and Allen Butler recapped the water forum held here on Jan. 15, and decided to meet with the county’s planning commission chair and co-chair to discuss the viability of the planning commission investigating the feasibility of the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District bringing a water augmentation plan to the county and making a recommendation to that effect to the commissioners. That meeting with the two county planning commission members – chairman Vic Barnes and vice-chair Keith Hood – took place during the Jan. 31 commissioners’ regular meeting. Following a lengthy discussion, with Barnes and Hood agreeing that the planning commission’s role should be to gather data only, the county commissioners decided to discuss the matter with county attorney John Naylor before making a final decision regarding the planning commission’s role, if any. Also during the Jan 19 meeting, commissioner Austin made a motion to send a letter to the UAWCD stating the county commissioners were not to blame for UAWCD’s recent decision to pull its proposed blanket water augmentation plan for Custer County from water court. Instead, said Austin, the commissioners objected because the UAWCD did not honor its agreement with the former county commissioners. That agreement, noted Austin, was that the commissioners be allowed to review the water augmentation proposal before UAWCD submitted it. “That didn’t happen,” said Austin.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


‘Managing Custer County’s Water’ conference recap

January 20, 2011

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Here’s an in-depth report from Nora Drenner writing for the The Wet Mountain Tribune. Click through for the article. Here’s an excerpt:

Some 120 persons gathered inside the fellowship hall at Hope Lutheran Church Saturday, Jan. 15, to learn what they could about Colorado water law and how it relates to Custer County. The forum was sponsored by the Custer County Conservation District and local Natural Resource and Conservation Service office.

The forum began with our local District 13 water commissioner Jerry Livengood giving an overview of the county’s water resources and uses. Livengood told the group there are 3,964 wells in the Valley with the permitted uses including domestic, household, municipal, commercial and irrigation uses. He also equated one acre-foot of water to 325,851 gallons, and one cubic foot per second of water to 646,320 gallons per day.

The primary water storage vessel in the Valley, said Livengood, is Lake DeWeese with 2,300 acre feet belonging to the DeWeese Dye Ditch Company, 500 acre-feet each to the Bureau of Land Management and Colorado Division of Wildlife, 350 acre-feet to the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District, and 100-acre feet to the Upper Arkansas Area Council of Governments.


‘Managing Custer County’s Water’ conference January 15

January 8, 2011

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

The free conference sponsored by the Custer County Conservation District and Natural Resources and Conservation Service offices, as well as the Custer County commissioners, will be held Saturday, Jan. 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Hope Lutheran Church’s fellowship hall…

Guest speakers will include Steve Witte and Steve Kastner from the Division Two State Water Engineers office in Pueblo, and Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District board president Glenn Everett among many others. Topics will include a review of Custer County’s water resources, management of that water, water uses, state water law, water augmentation, and a history of the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Custer County augmentation plan update

December 30, 2010

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From The Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

If all goes according to plan, the Custer County commissioners and Upper Arkansas Conservancy District will meet after the first of the year to talk about the implementation of a blanket water augmentation plan for the county.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Wet Mountain Valley: Terrible Mine tailings mitigation project update

December 26, 2010

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Hal Walter):

The contaminated tailings comprised about 100,000 cubic yards of gravel. An existing depression large enough to hold the tailings was utilized to contain this material. Griswold says lead carbonate is chemically different from lead sulfide found in most mine cleanup situations, so there’s little concern about it leaching into the groundwater. Thus, the depression holding the tailings was not lined.

However, acidic runoff from the surrounding pine forests poses a potential problem. So the next step was to cover the tailings with a thick evaporative cap, including a drainage layer of coarse gravel, topsoil and vegetation. In all, this cap will be about 3 feet thick. The site will be shored up with boulder rip-rap to keep the soil in place and guard against flash floods from Oak Creek. Finally, the topsoil will be seeded with a native grass mix recommended by the Soil Conservation District.

Andy Kagan, owner of Kagan and Son, said a cooperative effort between his company and Tezak Heavy Equipment is supplying the 70,000 tons of material for the cap. About 45,000 tons of gravel was provided from his pit located in Fremont County, and the balance of topsoil will come from another pit 12 miles south of Westcliffe. Tezak is supplying the boulder rip-rap.

More Custer County coverage here.


Custer County: The Upper Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District withdraws its proposed blanket augmentation plan

November 26, 2010

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Here’s an in-depth look at the Upper Ark’s augmentation attempts for Custer County from Nora Drenner writing for The Wet Mountain Tribune. From the article:

In a phone interview with the Tribune following UAWCD’s decision on Friday, Nov. 19, to withdraw its proposed plan, [Upper Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District Manager Terry Scanga] said the UAWCD board of directors took the action due to opposition from the Custer County commissioners and others within the community. He also said he felt the concerns raised by the commissioners and others were due to a lack of understanding in regards to how a water augmentation plan works and as such UAWCD would strive to educate Custer County residents and elected officials.

Scanga also said the UAWCD hoped to sit down with the Custer County commissioners in the near future to hash out a plan to bring a water augmentation plan back on the table.

Scanga also said a memorandum of understanding outlining all details would be signed by the UAWCD and commissioners before a proposed water plan would be submitted to water court.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Custer County Conservation District names ‘Conservationists of the Year’

November 13, 2010

From The Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

This year’s recipients were Alice and Charles Proctor, Marian Shearn, Peggy McIntosh and the late Jim Proctor of the M66 Ranch. Charles, Alice and Marian, who purchased the ranch in 1977, were on hand to receive the esteemed award. Local Conservation District Manager Robin Young said the M66 Ranch was chosen due to the owners commitment to following conservation measures on their 195-acre ranch including the placement of a conservation easement on the ranch in 2004. Also noted was the owners’ dedication to bringing the awareness of conservation to others by inviting art students to visit their ranch and creating art projects with what they find in nature. “They have a love of the land, people, teaching and learning,” said Young.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Wet Mountain Valley: Westcliffe and Silver Cliff stormwater project gets Westcliffe Board of Trustees approval

July 24, 2010

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

Following the public hearing, by a six to one vote, the Westcliffe trustees voted to move forward with the proposed project. Cascarelli was the lone no vote. [Westcliffe trustee Joe Cascarelli] was also the lone no vote to approve resolution 6-2010 appointing Squire as the certifying official for an environmental assessment as required by DOLA for the proposed stormwater drainage project.

More Custer County coverage here.


Custer County: Round Mountain board elections

April 15, 2010

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From The Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

The special district election will be held Tuesday, May 4, with the polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the county courthouse on that day. Those wishing to receive a ballot in the mail have until April 28 to submit a request, if the ballot is to be mailed. The cut-off date to request a mail-in ballot that the voter is going to pick-up at the courthouse is April 30.

Click through to read Ms. Drenner’s candidate profiles.

More Custer County coverage here.


Wet Mountain Valley: Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District board meeting recap

February 14, 2010

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

Engineering firm Crabtree Group was invited to the table to discuss RMW’s projects over the last year. Those projects included the construction of the new Gallery Well south of town and the installation of a booster station in Silver Cliff to increase water pressure…In a separate matter, [RMW chairman Darrell Niles] asked why a drainage system had not been installed near the booster station.

More Custer County coverage here and here.


Custer County groundwater study update

November 20, 2009

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From the The Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

For a number of years, the county has been participating in a water quantity survey with USGS. In the study, USGS officials monitor 60 wells spread throughout Custer County. Each well is monitored twice a year—in the spring and fall—to check water level changes. Cost to the county is some $7,000 a year. The study is paid for through 2010. The county commissioners are considering suspending the study thereafter…

[United States Geological Survey official Ken Watts of Pueblo] told the county bosses the study helps to determine what will happen to water here in the future, therefore, it was a good idea to continue. ‘You need the background information to determine future water needs,” said Watts. Watts also said it might be a good idea to add some newly drilled wells to the study and take out of the study some of the wells in the Sangres. Scanga agreed saying the data received from the local monitoring of the 60 wells will benefit a water study the UAWCD is completing to study the quantity of water in the Upper Arkansas Basin.

The study will begin in 2010 and continue through 2012. Total cost is $406,912 with USGS paying $134,281. Kicking in $6,000 is Custer County. Other entities helping to pay for the study include the Round Mountain Water and Sanitation District at $3,000, Fremont County at $15,000, Chaffee County and municipalities at $30,000, Penrose Water District at $6,000, and Canon City at $3,000. The UAWCD is paying some $226,912 plus administration costs valued at approximately $24,000.

More groundwater coverage here and here.


Custer County looking closely at Upper Ark’s augmentation plan

November 11, 2009

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

On Tuesday, Aug. 11, county commissioners Lynn Attebery, Jim Austin and Carole Custer [hired] the law firm Duncan, Ostrander and Dingess of Denver to represent the county in its objection of the proposed water augmentation plan for Custer County submitted to water court by the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District in late June. Commissioner Austin will serve as contact person with the law firm. Commissioner Attebery also wanted to serve as contact person, however, commissioner Austin and Custer voted in favor of Austin. Also, attorney fees will be split with the city of Aurora as they have also retained the same law firm to handle the same matter. Austin noted Aurora is also objecting to the proposed water augmentation plan.

More Custer County coverage here.


Custer County: Fountain updates residents on plans for H2O ranch purchase

October 4, 2009

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

The City of Fountain purchased the 480-acre ranch for $3.5 million in partnership with the city of Widefield in March 2008 to acquire some 700-acre-feet of water. The ranch is located about two-and one-half miles west of Westcliffe on Kettle Lane. The purpose of the meeting, said Fountain and Widefield officials, was to let locals know what the future plans are for the water. “We are taking a forthright approach with no secrets,” said City of Fountain Utilities Director Larry Patterson. “We want to communicate with everyone and hear what they have to say.”[...]

Patterson also said the H2O ranch case has been filed in state water court, and he expects the case to take up to four years for completion. As part of the process for water court, said Patterson, the two entities are providing an engineering review and opinion regarding the water rights on the H2O ranch. Also in the works, said Patterson, are individual meetings with neighboring property owners. “We do not want to harm our neighbors’ ability to receive their water,” said Patterson…

“Our number one consideration at this time,” said Paterson, “is to lease the land with part of the water.” The amount of water which would be leased with the land, said Patterson, will depend upon the final water decree. Patterson also said, “We are not in the development business,” adding that the land will probably be sold sometime in the future. Other considerations, said Patterson, are placing a part of the ranch in a conservation easement, and working with the Upper Arkansas Water Conservation District to exchange the water.

More Custer County coverage here.


Chris Haga: ‘At 100 feet, we broke through a clay layer and found a pristine supply of water. It was an awesome day’

September 13, 2009

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From The Pueblog Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

The [Round Mountain Water District] reported it has completed a plan to build a well to increase the reliability of its water supply at the monthly meeting of the Arkansas Basin Roundtable. The roundtable supported the district’s $120,000 grant from the Water Supply Reserve Account in 2007, part of a $1 million project to improve the water system that serves Silver Cliff and Westcliffe…

“The Gallery Well project has been completed,” Chris Haga, a member of both the district board and the roundtable. “The purpose of the project was to bring a new source of water into the district.” Haga reviewed the project’s history in a slide presentation with the district’s manager, Tracey Garcia, and fellow board member Jerry Lacy. “Prior to the project, we were struggling to bring water into our system at peak times,” Garcia told the roundtable.

The new well includes a wireless control system that allows it to be operated remotely from the district’s office. “It’s phenomenal what it can do,” Haga said…

The Gallery Well was the final step in providing a reliable water supply. “At 100 feet, we broke through a clay layer and found a pristine supply of water. It was an awesome day,” Haga told the roundtable.

More Custer County coverage here.


Upper Arkansas River augmentation plan update

September 6, 2009

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Chris Woodka):

A blanket augmentation plan for the Upper Arkansas River is being extended to include portions of Custer County…

“This is the augmentation plan we already have, but includes Texas Creek and Grape Creek,” said Terry Scanga, general manager of the Upper Ark district. “It saves the water rights owners the expense of $50,000-$150,000 to file their own augmentation plan.” An augmentation plan assures that water will be released to the river to make up for out-of-priority depletions. Water usually is released from storage to make up for well-pumping or surface diversions at times when the water is needed. “The benefit to the district is that it puts a plan in place to protect the senior water rights,” Scanga said. The plan touches other water operations in the Arkansas Valley and attracted the attention of the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District last week, which voted to enter the case.

More Upper Ark coverage here.


Custer County: Review of Upper Ark’s augmentation plan for county on tap

July 11, 2009

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

The county commissioners are hiring a water attorney to review the proposed water augmentation plan the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District filed in court late last month. The commissioners have also decided to file an objection to the proposal, which if approved, would bring a blanket water augmentation plan to Custer County. The attorney wasn’t identified…

All three commissioners—Lynn Attebery, Jim Austin and Carole Custer—said they did not necessarily think the proposed water augmentation plan was a bad one, however, it was in the best interest of the county to have it reviewed by an independent expert. Also, in order to stay in the loop during the water court process, said Austin, it was necessary to file a written objection to the plan. Attebery and Custer agreed.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.


Wet Mountain Valley: Vickerman family ranch to be preserved

July 6, 2009

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Tracy Harmon):

Thanks to a recently awarded $484,200 Great Outdoors Colorado grant, the San Isabel Land Protection Trust will be able to preserve the 720-acre ranch. It will stay as it always has been, a working cattle and hay ranch that also is home to wildlife on the valley floor. “We grow native hay that requires just one cutting usually in mid July to the end of July. Since my husband passed, we’ve taken in cattle for pasture,” Mrs. Vickerman said. “We have a lot of deer and antelope. They like the alfalfa and when we are haying we see where they’ve made beds to stay in the meadow then they move on when it is cut low and not as protective.”

The $1.3 million Vickerman Ranch project consists of a $400,000 contribution from the Vickerman family through the donation of development rights to the property, $450,000 in matching funds being sought through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm and Ranch Protection Program and the GOCo funds.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here and here.


Custer County augmentation plan update

June 26, 2009

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Here’s an update on Custer County’s augmentation plan through the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District, from Nora Drenner writing for the Wet Mountain Tribune. From the article:

A public hearing regarding the matter took place on Wednesday, June 17 in the county courthouse. Some 40 interested persons showed up to voice their opinions on the matter. The hearing began with an opening statement by UAWCD manager Terry Scanga. That statement illustrated the benefits of bringing a blanket water augmentation plan to the county. Scanga said the sources of augmentation water would not result in the dry-up of agricultural land in Custer County. Instead, said Scanga, the UAWCD would use water from its existing water rights to meet Custer County’s needs. Scanga further noted a blanket augmentation plan would allow the UAWCD to augment those wells that are currently out of compliance and as such are in need of water…

The UAWCD is proposing using the Texas Creek and Grape Creek water drainages to bring the water augmentation plan to the county. Also in the works is the building of reservoirs along Texas Creek and Grape Creek, however, sites or a time frame has not been established.

In his statement, Scanga also said that the local Concerned Citizens for Custer County organization C-4 has made inaccurate representations about the advantages of postponing the filing of the augmentation plan until after July 1 when new regulations go into effect. According to C-4, said Scanga, “The new rules will change the disclosure obligations of an applicant in respect to the proposed augmentation plan.” Scanga continued, “The new rules are no more stringent in requiring the applicant to demonstrate in water court that no injury will occur to other water right owners. It is odd that this citizen’s group has shown little concern about the protection of senior water right owners, which is the whole purpose of augmentation.” Instead, said Scanga, “The new rules increase the burden on water resource engineers, and therefore the cost of such engineers to all parties.” Scanga further said, “The new rules would likely decrease the efficiency of the process because the first cases subject to the new rules would likely experience delays and increased costs.”[...]

In the end, the commissioners asked the UAWCD to delay filing the water augmentation plan in water court to they could have time to review it. Scanga indicated the plan would be submitted by June 30.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.


Custer County: Augmentation plan public hearings

June 11, 2009

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From the Wet Mountain Tribune (Nora Drenner):

All interested persons are invited to provide input during two upcoming public hearings regarding a water augmentation plan that the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District is proposing to bring to the county. Both public hearings will take place Wednesday, June 17. The first one is slated for 1 p.m. in the Custer County courthouse. A second public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. in the Wetmore fire station…

Local UAWCD board members Bob Senderhauf and Bill Donley have also been invited to address the group and will be prepared to answer questions. The purpose of the public hearings is to seek input from the community. UAWCD officials gave an overview of the proposed water augmentation plan late last month. At that time, UAWCD manager Terry Scanga and UAWCD engineer Ivan Walters indicated the plan would be submitted to water court by June 30. New Colorado regulations regarding the filing of water cases goes into effect July 1.


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