Rivers and property rights | AspenTimes.com

Rivers and property rights

Dear Editor:

In your article (“Curry: Rafting bill at risk in state Senate,” March 4, The Aspen Times), Colorado Rep. Kathleen Curry notes that there are 17 lobbyists advocating against House Bill 1188, her proposal to erode property rights to benefit the commercial rafting industry.

The article doesn’t ask the obvious question, however, why there might be so much opposition to her bill. Apparently the author, Mr. Condon, feels no compulsion to ask for comment from the other side of the issue. Simply mouthing a politician’s talking points is shoddy journalism.

Although it may be news to Mr. Condon, there is a growing coalition of least 35 organizations opposing HB 1188, including two dozen member organizations of the Colorado Ag Council plus Club 20, the Colorado Water Congress and the River Habitat Preservation Coalition, among many others.

Why the outpouring of opposition to HB 1188? Because landowners resent the fundamental attack on private property rights proposed under HB 1188. If passed the measure would “take” landowners’ ability to restrict access to their private property. As a landowner, I am more than happy to work with rafters who float through my property. However I resent the state giving away my right to do so via statute.

I’m convinced that as more Coloradans understand the consequences of HB 1188, the coalition of opponents will only grow.

Merry Ryden

New Castle

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