7A a small price to pay for Western Slope rivers | AspenTimes.com

7A a small price to pay for Western Slope rivers

The Roaring Fork, Fryingpan, and Crystal rivers all merge in our valley to flow into the Colorado River and thus provide the water supply to our valley’s families, businesses, farms and ranches, as well as much of the downstream Western Slope communities.

Question 7A would allow the River District to increase its mill levy from .252 to .5 mills — or $1.90 per $100,000 of residential property value, which means the average Western Slope homeowner will pay about $7.03 per year. This is a small price to pay to keep our water on the Western Slope and our rivers healthy, particularly during drought years such as this.

Expected to raise $4.9 million per year, Question 7A directs the River District to spend the new revenues for four specific purposes across the 15 counties they represent:

• Fight to keep water on the Western Slope;

• Protecting adequate water supplies for Western Slope farmers and ranchers;

• Protecting sustainable drinking water supplies for Western Slope communities; and

• Protecting fish, wildlife and recreation by maintaining healthy river levels and water quality.

We have worked with the River District on past projects that provide mutual benefits to river health, domestic and agricultural users, and our recreational needs. Some projects have involved modernizing irrigation infrastructures, while others created programs that allow for innovative and flexible irrigation water use, with co-benefits for stream flows and water quality. Question 7A will allow us to build on these past successes with the River District and provide even greater benefits to Western Slope rivers and streams in the future. Basalt

Board Member, Colorado and National Trout Unlimited

Colorado Trout Unlimited and its Western Slope chapters strongly support Question 7A. Please vote yes on Question 7A.

Mac Cunningham